Whether it is exposure to the rays of the sun or accidentally touching a boiling kettle, there minor thermal burns that commonly occur among children and adults. Millions of individuals who experience burns do not need medical care since most suffering from mild cases of burns that can be treated at home with proper first aid care.
Mild burns are defined by red-colored skin, moderate pain, swelling and topical blisters that respond well to first aid treatment. If you want to learn more about burn management, read here.
Steps on how to soothe burns
- Check whether the burn can be treated at home. Always bear in mind that minor to moderate cases of sunburns and burns which involve reddened skin that might blister due to contact with hot surfaces can be treated at home as long as the burn is not on the face, hands, feet, groin or over a major joint as well as covering a large part of the body. It is best to seek immediate medical care if the burn was sustained in these areas or if the burned skin is charred or white.
- You have to hold the affected area under cool running water for 10-15 minutes right after the injury was sustained in order to temporarily relieve the pain and minimize the swelling. An alternative is to apply a cool compress on the skin. Avoid using ice or cold water since both can cause a drop in the body temperature and result to more damage to the affected skin.
- Apply a sterile, non-adhesive gauze bandage on the affected area to shield the affected skin from exposure to lint and air. Instruct the individual to avoid breaking the blisters open since it will increase the risk for infection. The bandage must be changed every 48 hours.
- You have to nourish sunburns that are too big to be covered in a bandage using aloe vera gel. Make sure that you will apply the gel liberally on the affected area until it is absorbed by the skin.
- You can provide the individual with an over-the-counter pain medication such as ibuprofen, aspirin, naproxen or acetaminophen. Just make sure that you will follow the dosage instructions in order to reduce discomfort.
- You have to allow the burn to heal while monitoring for any signs of infection which includes redness, pain, swelling, fever and oozing. You have to consult a doctor right away if you will notice any signs of infection.
- The burned skin must be treated gently even after the healing. The individual should apply sunscreen on the affected area in order to avoid tanning or re-injuring the skin for at least a year.
Important considerations to bear in mind
When it comes to severe burns that involve charred skin or if the individual suffers from breathing difficulties, shock or carbon monoxide poisoning, it is best to seek immediate medical care.