Learn About First Aid for Minor Burns
Minor burns, while potentially quite uncomfortable, can be treated from the comfort of your home. That is, if you have prepared yourself adequately for the emergency ahead of time. Minor burns are one of the most common household injuries, especially among children who come into contact with scalding hot liquids and appliances.
Find Out First-Aid Kit Must-Haves for Minor Burns
The first-aid kit items listed below are essential for treating minor burns at home. You can find these items online or they may be included with standard first-aid kit offerings. Otherwise, you can visit local chain stores selling general goods and groceries. If you are in a rush, you can always find all of these items at your nearby pharmacy.
Antibiotic ointments – Antibiotic ointments help keep minor burns from becoming infected and promote faster healing of the skin.
Gauze or bandages – Bandages are used to cover minor burns and any ointments used on them. Bandages also help keep burns moist, which results in less pain. When bandages are too small, use gauze wrap around burns for a custom fit.
Scissors – If a burned area is too large for any of the pre-sized bandages you have at home, use gauze. You need a pair of first-aid nickel-plated scissors to cut the gauze to a custom size.
First-aid tape – Use first-aid tape adhere gauze to itself.
Gloves – While not always necessary, using gloves is an excellent way to keep burned areas from getting infected when you are applying ointments, bandages or gauze. Bacteria under the nails can spread and infect burned areas if you are not careful. Using sterile gloves to treat a wound prevents bacteria transfer, which allows the burn to heal without issue.
Hot/cold compress – Having a compress on hand when you experience a minor burn helps alleviate the pain and cool the burned area. Avoid using frozen compresses, as this may cause damage to burned tissue.
Pain relief medications – Over-the-counter pain relief medications such as ibuprofen, naproxen or acetaminophen come in handy when the burn pain becomes too much for a person. They also low-grade fevers.
Thermometer – You will need a thermometer to accurately assess whether your temperature is rising. If so, this can be a sign of infection.
Learn About Natural Supplements That Can Help Minor Burns
The following natural supplements can be used alongside modern medicines and burn-healing methodologies. Keep in mind, these natural solutions are not meant to be used as a full alternative to conventional approaches but are intended to aid them. Of course, they are especially useful when your home first-aid kit is depleted.
Aloe Vera – Known for its cooling properties, aloe vera is effective for healing first- and second-degree burns. It curtails the presence of bacteria while cooling the burned area and promoting healing.
Honey – Honey is antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Place honey directly on a burn to assist in the healing process.
Cool water – When you get a minor burn, run cool water over it for up to 20 minutes. While cool water soothes a burn, avoid using ice and cold water, as they further irritate a burn or cause a cold burn. Clean the burned area after running cool water over it.
Cold compress – When it comes to a compress, it must not have come straight from the freezer. Instead use a cool compress, wet cloth or paper towels to set on the burned area. A cool compress can relieve the burning sensation, pain and swelling. Apply the compress or cool cloth anywhere from five to 15 minutes as needed.
Learn About Household Items to Avoid Using for Burns
Coconut oil – While coconut oil can be great for the skin, placing it onto a fresh burn may allow the wound to continue burning since oil holds in heat.
Toothpaste – Toothpaste, for the most part, is not natural. However, it is a common household item many people use for treating minor burns. Avoid using toothpaste, as it is not antibacterial and can promote infection as opposed to fight it.
How to Take Care of Minor Burns
If you have sustained a minor burn in the course of your daily routine, remain calm. Follow the steps below to address the issue and get back into the flow of things.
- Cool the burned area. – Place a cool compress or cool, wet rag to the burned area to ease the pain and slow swelling.
- Remove jewelry and tight-fitting clothing/accessories from area. – Take off rings or bracelets before the affected area becomes too swollen to remove these items.
- Avoid popping blisters. – If blisters begin to form, do not pop them. Blisters filled with fluid can keep infections from developing. If a blister bursts, clean it with soap and water, then use some antibiotic cream.
- Apply lotion or moisturizer. – Apply aloe vera, antibiotic cream or moisturizer to keep the burn from drying out and to help the skin begin to heal.
- Cover the burn with a bandage. – After you have dressed the wound with a lotion or moisturizer, cover it with a bandage or gauze to keep it moist.
- Take a pain reliever. – If the pain is too strong to deal with, take a pain reliever to reduce the pain and associated fever for temporary amount of time.
When to Go to the Hospital for Minor Burns
You can take care of minor burns at home, but you may want to visit a doctor if your burns are particularly agitating or more severe than you initially thought. When it comes to burns, you may want to consult with a medical professional:
- For burns that cover large areas of the body or sensitive areas such as the face, groin or hands.
- When you have been burned by electrical currents or chemicals.
- If large blisters begin to form in the burned area.
- When signs of infection appear such as swelling, oozing and redness.
- There is substantial scarring in the area.
Sometimes the severity of a burn may worsen, prompting you to visit the doctor. It may be best to call for an ambulance for significant burns that are in sensitive areas. When there are burns to the legs, thighs and back, let emergency medical staff assess the situation and transport the burn victim appropriately. Riding in a car may aggravate the burn patient.
If you have treated minor burns, you may not need to visit a doctor at all. However, if you notice the burns remain painful or get worse after treating them yourself, you may want follow up with a doctor to see if he or she can provide some insight and provide further healing instructions.