Among all kinds of skin injuries, burns is the most common one. Burns can be caused by various causes and can happen in almost everywhere. Low-degree burns can be easily treated at home, while the severe one might need further medical attention, since it may possibly cause death. Commonly, burns are categorized into first, second, and third-degree burns, which is based on the burnt skin severity. A small burn might be able to heal without any special treatment, while higher degree burns might lead to agonizing pains that it needs specific medications and professional treatments. Around the house, children are susceptible to burns. This is closely related to their curiosity that makes some of households’ things harmful. Therefore, knowing potential causes of burns might be helpful for precautions.
Causes of burns
Various things are potential in causing burns. At home, several things need to be paid attention to in order to prevent malfunctions which may cause burns. The most common causes of burns are:
- Hot liquid or steam. These are the most frequent causes of burns. Burns caused by something wet and hot is referred as scalds. The most possible culprit for scalds is boiling water. Quite different from burns caused by dry heat, scalds usually leave red patches on the skin initially. A while after injury, these patches may turn into watery blisters which are very painful.
- Dry heat. Fire or sun exposure are two most common dry heat causing burns. While burns caused by sun exposure can be treated at home and is not necessarily dangerous, burns caused by fire usually needs medical attention. Burns caused by dry heat commonly causes instant dark patches. The pain is agonizing and medical attention might be needed to clean any left debris on the wounded areas.
Treating a burn wound from boiling water
A burn caused by boiling water might seem simple and harmless. Yet, this might cause agonizing pain which is accompanied by blisters and damaged skin. As with other kinds of burns, a boiling water burn should be treated as soon as possible. This is important because quick treatment might help reducing the temperature damaging the skin and therefore, minimize damages to the skin itself. Not all boiling water burns are small and harmless, although those are not necessarily harmful as well. The water degree may determine the severity of the wound. Still, the most important thing is treating the wound quickly and properly by doing these:
Reduce the temperature.
The first thing to do with a burn from boiling water is to cool the wound down to reduce the temperature affecting the skin. This can be done by washing the affected area under running water. It is important to do this until the pain turns less agonizing.
Dry the burn.
Drying the washed burn can be used by patting the wound dry with clean towel or tissues. Be careful not to leave any tissue excess on the wound. Do not rub a burn, since it is potential of damaging the skin tissues.
Keep the burn clean.
After you pat the wound dry, you can cover it loosely with a gauze to prevent further damage. Cold compress can be applied to reduce the pain it may cause. You might also want to put the injured part higher than your heart. You can use a pillow to do this. This is important to relieve pains, since higher position reduces any pressure on the affected area.
Apply only prescribed ointment.
In fact, there are various ointment for treating burns being sold widely in the market. For small burns, it is fine to apply this ointment. However, these are not advised for major boiling water burns, since some ointments might instead increase the temperature inside the injury. Thus, this will make the burn more painful.
Keep the burns moist and change the gauze regularly.
To boost healing process, it is important to keep the wound moist and change the gauze regularly. This will help avoiding bacterial infection. If you have a major burn, you might want professional helps in changing the bandage to avoid tearing the healing skin.