Burn first aid is one of the most frequently searched treatments online. As it may happen more often since it may be caused by items at home, at work, or outdoors. It includes first aid practices which will be discussed below. In addition, treatment of its scars will also be included so there will be no evidence you ever had a burn on your skin.
Minor Burn First Aid
A minor burn may be considered a first-degree burn wherein the outer layer of the skin looks red and dry without any blister. Examples of such may be a minor sunburn and exposure to a hot stove/liquid. It may be treated with the following first aid steps:
- Using running water, cool the burn for at least 10 minutes.
- If there are tight accessories and/or clothing around a burned area, remove them.
- To prevent the burned area from drying, you may put lotion on it.
- Bandage the burn.
- If necessary, take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
To bandage a burn, certain items like a gauze pad are needed, which are essential in a first aid kit. It is one of the most basic first aid skills that are taught in a first aid course in 123C Colin St West Perth 6005.
Severe Burn First Aid
Second to fourth-degree burns may be more severe so calling 000 for emergency help is advised aside from performing the following first aid management:
- Take the person away from the source if it is still possible.
- Inspect if the person is still breathing, if not, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be needed to be performed.
- If there are tight clothing and accessories, remove them.
- Using a clean cloth, cover the burn.
- If possible, lift the burned area above heart level.
- The person may experience signs of shock so he/she must be monitored. If so, it must be reported to emergency help.
Identifying if a Burn is Severe
A severe burn is when the outer and inner layers of the skin are affected. Both may be reddish, blistered, swollen, and painful. In worst cases, all layers of the skin, including the muscles and the bones may look white, black, or charred. A severe burn may be caused by the following:
- Scalding with hot water.
- Candle wax.
- Household appliances.
- Hot oil.
- Flames of fire.
- Being in contact with an electrical source.
- Being in contact with a chemical source.
- Being in contact with a hot stove or oven.
- Exposure to open flames (such as the fireplace and a campfire).
- Exposure to chemicals.
- Injuries acquired from a building fire.
Since severe burns cause more harm to the skin, they may leave scars behind. Fortunately, these scars may also be treated.
Treatment for the Scars from a Burn
Healthline lists the following treatments for scars from a burn:
- Antibiotic ointment.
- Covering the burned skin (using sterile, non-stick gauze) to prevent infection and help it recover.
- Compression garments.
- Skin graft.
- Physical therapy.
The degree and size of the burn will be the factors in choosing which of the above options may be used to treat the scars from a burn. It is recommended to talk to a doctor first before trying any of these, especially since the type of scar from a burn must be identified first.
Keloid Scar from a Burn
A keloid scar is a hairless bump that is usually shiny and may be larger than the original burned area.
Hypertrophic Scar from a Burn
It is a raised scar that looks reddish or purplish. This type of scar from a burn is also warm to the touch and is itchy. It may be more prominent around joints where skin tension and movement are high.
Contracture Scar from a Burn
This scar makes a person harder to move because it tightens the skin, muscles, and tendons.
Difficulties of Having a Contracture Scar from a Burn
If a contracture scar is on the legs, it may cause the person to have difficulty:
- Climbing stairs.
Meanwhile, if this type of scar is on the trunk and arms, a person may find it hard to:
- Groom him/herself.
- Get dressed.
- Working with the hands.
Physical therapy may help in the management and improvement of the above complications caused by a contracture scar. It may take the longest to heal among all types of scars from a burn.
Recovery of Scars from a Burn
Below is the timeline of how long it takes a scar from a burn to fully recover:
- One week for scars from minor (first-degree) burns.
- Two weeks to years for scars from severe (second-fourth degree) burns.
Recovery time for severe scars from a burn may take longer because the muscles and the tissues may also be affected. If damaged, both of these take longer to fully heal and recover.
Preventing Scars from a Burn
Indeed, having scars from a burn is undesirable. Therefore, being able to conduct the following first aid tips may help in preventing the scars to occur:
- Let the skin aid dry after being rinsed.
- To prevent a contracture scar, stretch the burned area for a few minutes every day.
- Do not touch the blisters and let them pop on their own.
- Using clothing or sunscreen, protect the burned area from the sun.
It is also advised to have a doctor check and monitor the burn and the scar so full recovery may be achieved more quickly.
Burn Safety Tips
Prevention is better than cure, as always. So, even though there is burn first aid and treatment for its scars, not getting burned at all is still much better. It may be possible by following the safety tips below.
Burn Safety Tips at Home
It may be helpful to be reminded of the following burn safety tips at home:
- If possible, decrease the water temperature.
- If holding a hot meal, drink, or beverage, try to avoid being in contact with other people.
- If there is a child at home, do not leave them unattended around appliances like the stove, fireplace, space heaters, and radiators.
- Unplug appliances when not in use.
- Keep ‘hot’ appliances (like an iron) out of reach.
- Do not let a child play with a candle or match.
- Put out a candle after using it.
The above burn safety tips may be helpful especially if there is a child at home.
Burn Safety Tips for Outdoors
When outdoors, the following burn safety tips may also be remembered:
- Don’t leave cooking equipment (grills, fire pits, and campfires) unattended.
- Don’t let kids play with sparklers and/or fireworks.
- Before sitting in a car parked outside, check if the seats are hot, if so, cover them with a towel. Check if the straps and buckles are hot too.
If the above is followed, being outdoors may be enjoyed while being safe from burns at the same time.
Create an Emergency Plan
The following further burn preventive measures may also be done:
- Installation of smoke alarms.
- Putting a fire extinguisher at home and knowing how to use it.
- Practice the stop-drop-and-roll with the family members.
- Create an evacuation plan.
If you notice, buildings like malls post evacuation plans on conspicuous areas.
The degree of a burn will determine what type of first aid treatment may be applied to it. The higher degree of burns may be severe and may cause scars, which may be treated depending on the scar type. Determining the burn degree and scar type may be done best by a doctor who may advise on how to treat them effectively and quickly.