What to do In Case Of Burns and Scalds

 Burns:
When the skin is exposed to excessive dry heat, it burns. For example- electricity, corrosive substances and of course- fire.


The first step towards treating burns and scalds is to figure out the extent and severity of the burn.

 

The following are the different types of burns:

 

  1. First Degree burns- These burns are not that severe and can cause minor pain. Sunburns can be considered to be first degree burns. Therefore, if the skin merely reddens after an incident, it is a first degree burn.

  2. Second Degree burns are slightly more painful as a deeper layer of the skin is affected. Therefore, if blisters appear, it is a second degree burn.

  3. Third Degree burns are extremely painful as they damage the subcutaneous tissue. Victims may suffer from charring and scarring.

  4. Fourth Degree burns are extremely severe and damage the tendons, ligaments and muscles. The victim may lose the affected limb.

Treatment: 

First degree burns:

What to do:

  1. The first thing that you need to do in the case of a first degree burn is to remove any jewellery or clothing from the affected area. This should be done before swelling appears.

  2. Wet a towel with cold water and apply it on the burned area or apply cool water directly on the burn. Do not apply ice or water that is freezing cold. This can worsen the burn.

  3. Next, a gauze pad should be used to cover the area. Make sure that the gauze pad is clean and sterile. Tape should be avoided.

Second degree burns:

What to do:

  1. The first thing that you need to do in the case of a first degree burn is to remove any jewellery or clothing from the affected area. This should be done before swelling appears.

  2. Drench a towel with cold water and apply it on the burned area. You can also apply cool water directly on the burn. Avoid ice water or ice as this can worsen the wound.

  3. Blisters will definitely appear in the case of a second degree burn. Do not attempt to break these blisters as it can lead to a severe infection.

  4. To avoid further problems, cover the affected area with a gauze pad. Make sure it is clean and sterile.

  5. Avoid the use of ointments or grease as these topical applications do not allow the heat to escape.

  6. Keep the affected limb raised to prevent further swelling

  7. If the burnt area is more than 3 inches long, get medical help.

Third degree burns:

What to do:

  1. In case your clothes have caught fire, do not run. This can make the flames touch the face. Therefore, cover yourself with a blanket and roll on the ground.

  2. Tight clothes and jewellery should be removed instantly

  3. If something is stuck to the wound, do not attempt to pull it out

  4. Keep ice water away

  5. Apply cool water onto the burn for a brief period of time. This has to be done in order to regulate the body temperate and bring it back to normal.

  6. Raise the affected limb to avoid swelling

  7. Keep drinking liquids but avoid alcohol

  8. Make sure you are calm and are lying down till an ambulance arrives.

Fourth Degree Burns:

  1. As mentioned above, fourth degree burns are extremely severe and can require skin grafting. Immediate hospitalization is necessary. However, before medical help arrives, you should:

  2. Make sure that the burned area is bare. Remove any jewellery or tight clothes

  3. Let cool running water run over the affected area. Avoid ice water as this can lead to further reactions.

  4. Make sure that the affected limb is raised above the shoulders.

  5. If a piece of cloth or even a thread is stuck to the wound, do not remove it

  6. Drink fluids till medical help arrives

Scalds:

If you touch hot liquid, your skin will get scalded. Scalds are common and are usually not that severe. If your skin comes in contact with hot water, it will heal faster than if it comes in contact with hot oil. This is because oil tends to get hotter than water when heated at the same temperature. Naturally, the impact will be stronger as well.

What to do:

Follow the same treatment for first degree burns as mentioned above in case of a scald.  

 



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