Accidents can happen anywhere and thus, leave injuries. Cuts, burns, or scraps from kitchen activities, for instance, are quite common. These might leave unwanted scars on your skin. Another common kitchen accident results from scalding caused by boiling water. Some of the times you can be more careless than usual and drop a kettle full of boiled water, improperly hold the glass while pouring water out of water dispenser faucet, or simply get the hot tap water accident. This definitely will hurt your hands, legs, or other areas from scalding. Scald burns mostly happen to children because of their little awareness of the potential causes. The degree of pain from scalding varies, depending on which layer or skin is hurt.
The skin layers
Your skin stretched through your body parts. It protects your organs and cells from outer environment. Any strikes on your skin can cause wounds—minor or severe one, or scars. Those strikes cause different pain level according to which layer of skin is affected. Your skin layers are:
- The epidermis, which is the outer part of your skin, through which the skin dead cells are excreted.
- The dermis, which is the underlying layer of fibrous tissues that contains hair follicles, sweat glands, nerves, and blood vessels.
- The subcutis, which is the final layer of tissues and fat. It contains larger blood vessels.
What is the characteristics and symptoms of scalds?
Similar to burns, scalds are skin damage caused by heat. To be more specific, scalds are the burn on the skin or flesh caused by wet sources, such as boiling water or steam. Scalds have deeper wound than burns and are more likely to cause scars. This kind of wound will cause skin layer splits and blisters. The scald can be either minor or severe. However, the size do not always define the degree of pain you feel. Some minor scald on certain area might be more painful than the major one. To treat the wound properly, you need to observe the symptoms of scalds:
- Red or blacken skin.
- Peeling epidermis or dermis—the skin layers.
- The occurrence of blisters either in small or big size.
- Swelling surrounding skin or wounded area.
- White skin.
These symptoms vary, according to the layer of skin affected and the severance of the wound. Any wound in all layer, however, have the risk of developing scars or keloids—if you are the susceptible one. Thus, the treatment for scalding are determined through deep examination of the affected area and the symptoms.
How do I treat scalds from boiling water?
When you get scalded or burn, or help someone with the accident, you have to perform immediate action. Severe burns and scalds spread the heat to large area beneath your skin and damage the tissues. This is why your quick act is necessary in order to give temporary soothing sensation from the heat attack. Basic steps of providing the first aids to scald victim include:
- Cooling the skin. By doing this, you are providing soothing sensation to the wounded area. To perform this, pour cool water from either the tap or pan for around 10 minutes to calm the skin. After cooling the skin down, you have to keep yourself warm. Put yourself in a blanket is advised.
- Determine the affected area. Should the burn get into the big area and cause severe blistered of peeled skin, you should seek medical assistance immediately.
- Remove any kind of jewelry or part of clothes near the affected area to avoid bacterial contamination that can lead to infection.
- Calm yourself or the patient down by sitting down or lying down.
- Avoid aloe Vera gel, lotion, honey, butter, egg white, or any other cream on an open scald since it might lead to infection. Cover the area with sterile cloth or plastic wrap while waiting for medical assistance. However, should you are able to get one, a slice of fresh aloe Vera leave is advisable for unbroken skin. Apply it onto the skin after it is cooled down.
- Change wound dressing regularly and take the medications—if needed without skipping a dose.