Burns can happen without warning at home or at work. For a severe burn, you should seek immediate medical attention. For a first- or second-degree burn, you can probably treat the injury yourself. Follow these tips.
Use Cool Water to Relieve Pain
The first thing you should do is to treat the burned area with cool, not cold, water until the pain subsides. This will lower the temperature of the skin on and around the burned area and can help keep the burn from becoming more serious. You can hold the burned area under running water or place it in a bowl of cool water, or you can use cool compresses. Do not use an ice pack or ice water because that can result in tissue damage. Remove any jewelry or clothing that could get too tight if there is swelling.
Clean the Burn
After you have cooled off the skin, you need to clean the burn. Wash your hands thoroughly first to reduce the risk of infection. Be careful not to touch the burn with your hands or any non-sterile object because that can lead to infection. If there is a blister, do not break it. Wash the burned area gently with water and pat it dry with a clean cloth or gauze. Some burned skin might come off when you wash the burned area.
How to Decide If You Should Bandage a Burn
The decision on whether or not to bandage a burn will depend on the condition of the burned skin and the blister. If the blister has not broken open, you may not need to bandage the area, but you should do so if it is likely that the burned area would become irritated or dirty without a bandage. You should use a bandage if the burned skin or blister has broken open.
Use a nonstick dressing if possible. Wrap the burn loosely with gauze so you do not put too much pressure on the burned skin. Do not put tape around your hand, arm, or leg because that can lead to swelling. Change the bandage if it gets wet or dirty. If the bandage is difficult to remove because it is stuck to the burned skin, soak it in warm water.
Order Burn Care Products for Your First Aid Kit from 1st Aid Supplies
1st Aid Supplies offers burn sprays and gels that can speed up the healing process and non-prescription dressings to keep a burn covered and prevent infection. These are important supplies that should be included in your first aid kit. Since a burn can occur without warning, be prepared.