Home Remedies for Burns

Each year, thousands of patients endure burn injuries. Patients who seek medical attention reach up to 2.4 million in the United States alone. Burns of any kind are one of the most complex and painful injuries that often leads to initial trauma. Medical professionals need correct wound management and thorough evaluation of the patient. Occasionally scars are left behind after a burn. The depth or amount of scar will depend on the extremities of the burn and its corresponding causes.

Common Causes of Burns

  • When the skin comes in contact with hot liquids, Scald burns are formed. This is the most common form of skin burn.
  • Next in line are Thermal burns that are caused by flame injuries. Among the common incidents are clothing ignited by stoves, improper use of flammable liquids, auto accidents, or careless smoking.
  • Contact burns are caused by hot objects to be in contact with the skin.
  • Electrical burns may occur at accidents involving exposed electrical outlets or live wires.
  • At industries, Chemical burns are common especially for individuals working in toxic chemical factories. However, chemical burns may occur at households.
  • Tanning lotions and equipment or over exposure to the sun can also cause Ultraviolet burns.
  • When a person is entrapped in an enclosed space with gas or fumes, there is the possibility of acquiring Inhalation burns.

Symptoms of BurnDegrees of Burns:

  • First-degreeusually affects the outer layer of the skin. Pain, skin redness and swelling are associated with first-degree burns.

  • Second-degreeThere is partial thickness in this next degree of burn. Not only does it affect the outer layer, but it also penetrates the underlying skin. Aside from the common symptoms from the previous degree of burn, blisters now may develop.

  • Third-degreeIn this last stage of burns, the deep tissues are affected, thus creating full thickness of the skin. The damaged skin may appear to be whitened or blackened, coupled with numbness.

The major signs of a burn are redness, swelling, and pain in the affected area. A severe burn will also cause blistering. The skin may also peel, appear white or charred (blackened), or feel numb. A burn may trigger a headache and fever. The most serious burns may cause shock. The symptoms of shock include faintness, weakness, rapid pulse and breathing, pale and clammy skin, and bluish lips and fingernails.

These indications are for contact or skin burns. However, airway burns or lung injuries have different symptoms. Patients with airway burns may experience coughing, wheezing or difficulty in breathing. When the patient coughs, the mucus produced may appear carbon-stained or darkened.

Externally, the patient may have burned lips or charred mouth. Burns on the face, head, or neck are predetermined signs that the individual have also acquired airway burns. Since the irritated organs include the lungs and the air passageway, the patient may also have a change in his voice.
Burns Diagnosis

In all cases of burns, the doctor will require a thorough examination on the burned area. The treatment will be according to the amount of tissue damage the burn has caused and how deep it affected the system. He or She will also ask the occurrence of the burn. In certain cases, the doctor will ask a child victim of any case of child abuse. The BSA or body surface area affected by the burn is the determining factor of health professionals in assessing the severity of the burn. For patients who are more than nine years old, the “rule of nines” applies to the BSA in determining the stages of burns. In one instance, each leg or foot is 18% of the BSA, while the arm and the hand consist of 9%. The index for burn injuries in the head and neck are 9% while the front torso has a value of 18%. Both the genitals and the hand of a child below nine years old are worth 1% of the BSA.

Minor burns are those which cover less than 10% of a child’s body and those which affect only less than 15% of an adult’s body. Burns ranging from 10-20% of a child’s body and those that cover 15-25% of the body are considered moderate burns. More than the limits of moderate burns on both adults and children, particularly those on the face, genitals, hands, and feet, are declared are critical burns.
Treatment and Home Remedies for Burns

First-Degree BurnsHome treatments can be sufficient for minor burns. Initial step is to remove any jewelry or clothing that may have covered the burned area. Place the injured area under cold running water for 10 minutes to make sure that the burning stops. An alternative treatment can be in a form of cool moistened cloth to clean the affected skin. Instead of using bandages with adhesive, apply sterile gauze pad to cover the burn. Make sure the pad is loose enough for the burn to be circulated by air. Never apply oils or butter as other would advice, this can only aggravate the burn by trapping the heat inside and making it difficult to heal.

Antiseptic cleansers coupled with aloe-based cream are effective to relieve the pain. Certain pain relievers work also as anti-inflammatory medications but should be taken in accordance with the specified directions. Aspirins are prohibited for children with ages below 18 because there is the risk of Reye’s syndrome, which is considered as a serious illness.

Second-Degree Burns: The main objective in treating second-degree burns is to prevent further infection and to minimize pain. If fire was the major cause of the burn, smother the flame with moist blanket or water. It is also essential to instruct the victim to apply the “stop, drop, and roll” technique.

If the patient has developed blisters, don’t force them open. Once the blisters are openly exposed, there is the risk of secondary infection. However, if the opened blisters have been attached with clothing, do not remove them nor place them under running water. This will only set the patient in the risk of shock. A sterile gauze pad is safe to cover a closed or exposed blister. If blisters are larger in size, a clean sheet can be wrapped around to protect the burn. Again, it is important to loosen the bandage enough so that air can circulate around the burn.

Third-Degree Burns: Immediate medical assistance and treatment are required for all cases of third-degree burns. All cases of third-degree burns should be considered in medical emergencies except for minor burns. 911 assistance or emergency room confinement is required for patients with a severe degree burn.

If the person is still on fire, instruct him or her not to panic. Put out the flames with a jacket, blanket or water, which ever is available. Or have the victim use the “stop, drop, and roll” technique. Gently remove any clothing or jewelry that may have covered in the injured area. However, if any foreign object is stuck in the burned area, do not remove them. Immerse the affected area in cool water or you can apply a moistened cloth to prevent the burning process. Do not prolong the burned area in cold water nor apply ice or iced water for it will only cause further tissue damage.

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