What do you do when you have a burn? Most people apply it with toothpaste, but is this the right move ?. Surely, how to treat burns should not be considered trivial. If this initial step is right done, then the chances of recovery will be better.
What is a burn? In order to treat burns on target, our perception of this condition should be appropriate. In medical terms the burn is referred to as a combustio ie injury or injury to the body caused by high or hot temperatures. So, burns can appear at any time because the cause is not always straight from a fire burn.
Burns can occur when the skin is touched by a hot pot, exposed to splashes or hot spills, or exposed to sunlight for long periods of time. Electrical shock also falls into this category. Burns themselves have their levels. The first level is considered the lightest because it only concerns the outer surface of the skin. Such burns generally cause only slight pain, redness, and swelling. Another case with second degree burns that affect the deeper layers of skin. This usually triggers the appearance of blister sores (like the image at the beginning). Next is a 3rd degree burn that causes damage to all layers of the skin, symptoms include glossy white skin color such as wax, charred, and uneven leather texture. Worse than that is the 4 degrees already damaging the joints and bones.
Knowing the degree is very important, as this will determine the proper treatment or handling of burns. For example, in someone who suffered 3 and 4 degree burns, then he must be immediately rushed to the ER Hospital. While for those who suffered degree 1 and 2 burns with a wound depth of less than 3 inches (about 7.5 cm), can take care of itself at home. Handling of burns should be adjusted to the degree of burns.
For that, let us learn how to treat burns at home and which drugs should be avoided. How to Treat Burns at Home Mild burns generally take about 1-2 weeks to recover completely, and usually this wound will not cause scars. The goal of treatment to be mentioned below is to reduce the pain, prevent infection, and heal the skin more quickly. This is the right way to handle burns at home:
1. Cold water
The first thing to do when exposed to minor burns is splashing cold water (not ice water) into the area for 20 minutes. After that, clean the burning area using baby soap and water.
2. Cold compress
Cold compress or wet cloth placed on the burning skin can also relieve pain and swelling. Apply compresses with a 5-15 minute time lag as excessive use can aggravate irritation.
3. Antibiotic ointment
Applying an antibiotic cream or ointment over an injured skin can prevent further infection. After applying, cover the skin with a sterile gauze.
4. Aloe vera
Problem burning handling, aloe vera is one of the champion. Various studies show that aloe vera is effective in healing burns level 1 and 2. In addition, aloe vera is also anti-inflammatory, can stimulate circulation, and prevent bacterial growth. You live smear the skin with pure aloe vera gel, whether taken directly from the leaves or from products sold in stores. If the finished product is your choice, make sure that the high tongue level is high, and the product is not added with additives, especially dyes and perfumes.
Just like aloe vera, you can also apply honey to skin affected by minor burns to cure it. Besides being anti-inflammatory, honey also contains antibacterial and antifungal agents.
6. Avoid exposure to sunlight
How to treat the next burn of course is to avoid direct sunlight. Even if the activity requires you to be outdoors, then often take shelter. The reason is because skin that has been exposed to burns tend to be sensitive to sunlight. So cover that part also with clothing or other.
7. Avoid squeezing blisters
It is very tempting to squeeze or break blister burns, but do not do it. When blisters blister prematurely, then it can trigger an infection. Therefore, wait a few days or let it break itself. You should check it to the doctor if you are worried about it.
8. Drinking painkillers
If burns make you sick, then take analgesic drugs or pain reliever sold freely in pharmacies, such as ibuprofen or naproxen. Be sure to consume the recommended dosage, and use it as necessary.
Drug burns to avoid
In addition to how to treat burns earlier, there are also other methods of handling burns that many people believe. Unfortunately, the methods in question are not effective, and can even aggravate the condition. What are they?
Never apply butter to burns. Besides not yet proven scientifically effective, butter can even worsen the wound. The nature of butter that locks the heat can fertilize the dangerous bacteria that cause infection.
2. Certain oil
It is true that coconut oil has 1001 good benefits for the body, but this does not apply to burns. The reason is the same as the butter, coconut oil and other oils like olives, withstand the heat that can keep skin burning. And although lavender oil is thought to help heal burns, there is little scientific evidence to support it. Various studies conducted on rats for example, do not show that lavender oil can treat burns.
3. Egg whites
Myths how to treat other burns is with egg whites. Unfortunately, raw egg white is not sterile and can actually increase the risk of bacterial infection so it should not be applied to burns. In addition, egg whites can also trigger allergic reactions.
Never apply toothpaste to burns even though many friends suggest you do it. The reason is because the ingredients of toothpaste can irritate burns making it more prone to infection. Moreover, toothpaste is also not sterile.
Ice or very cold water can irritate more burns. Never attach ice cubes directly to the skin, normal skin alone should not let alone the injured. For that use cold water only.
Time to see a doctor
As mentioned earlier, the burn has several levels that can be distinguished from its characteristics. Although grade 1 and 2 burns can be resolved at home, check your doctor immediately if the burn is as below:
- Large, more than 3 inches (7.5 cm) in diameter.
- Regarding face, hands, buttocks, or groin.
- Very painful or smelly.
- Trigger high fever.
- Due to electronic devices or electrocution – can cause damage to deep tissue skin.
- Including degree 3 – should not be handled alone because of the risk of triggering infection, bleeding, and shock.
By applying the ways to treat burns above, it is hoped the healing process will be faster without meaningless complications.