Burns is the most frequent skin injuries which commonly happen to children by accidents and adults who are exposed to flammable materials. Burns, as do scrapes and cuts require an immediate and proper treatment to promote a complete healing. In most cases, burns tend to cause blisters, while some other cases result in a series of open burn wounds. Minor burns might heal without any specific medical treatments, while more severe ones might require careful attention and treatments.
Characteristics of burns
Burns, which are mostly caused by heat and liquid range from the minor to the severe one. It is possible to treat the minor one at home, using various home remedies, while major burns might require complex medications and professional care. In order to provide suitable treatments regarding burns, knowing the types of burns might be helpful.
Minor burns is also referred as a first-degree burns. This kind of burns usually happen as a result of direct contact with heat of hot surface, without any direct contact with the flames or fire. Minor burns are commonly characterized by swelling, redness, and pain. This kind of burns can be treated at home with suitable home remedies.
Moderate or the second-degree burns is more severe than the first-degree one as it may cause the affected skin to be splotchy. Second-degree burns also cause the skin to turn red, in addition to the redness. Different from the minor burns, this second-degree burns can result in raised skin areas, which are referred as blisters. In some cases, second-degree burns which are located in non-vital body parts can be treated at home. However, when the burn is located on the facial skin or other sensitive areas, medical care should be considered.
This is the most severe burns which may cause some other effects rather than just the damaged skin. This third-degree burns may cause poisoning as the result of inhaling excessive amount of carbon dioxide as well as breathing difficulty. Immediate professional care is necessary for this burn type.
Open burn wound
Sometimes, you might notice that burns do not cause redness or blisters. Instead, it causes opened burn wound which is visible. This mostly happens to the moderate and severe burns. An opened burn wound can also be resulted from drained blisters or blister removal. An opened burn wound, as other open burns are prone to bacterial infection and may be contaminated by hazardous substances. Therefore, it requires a proper treatment to heal properly.
Treating open burn wounds
Open burn wounds, which are not extremely severe can be treated at home with cautions. However, if the burn wound is opened and painless, you should be alarmed, as painless burn wound usually suggests inner tissues damage, which causes the wounded area to numb. If this what happens, going to the ER is advised. However, some open burn wounds can be extremely painful but can be handled at home. To do this, you will need to go through some steps:
- Rinse the wound immediately under cool running water. Be gentle and do not rub the wound. Avoid warm water since it may cause tissues damage. Rinsing the wound under cool water will decrease the temperature and heat trapped in it, so that the pain can be minimized.
- Clean the burnt area with mild soap and water. Do not be alarmed if some burnt skin come off with rinsing. Pat the area dry gently using a mild, clean towel.
- Apply an antibiotic ointment. Do not apply any alcohol or iodine which is harmful for your inner tissues.
- Bandage the open wound with sterilized gauze and cover it with a bandage. You can use a non-stick bandage which is less likely to stick on the wounded area. If the bandage does stick, do not try to remove it. Instead wet the bandage with water and take it off gently.
- Change the bandage when it gets wet or you see a bleed-through.
- Take an oral antibiotics if prescribed, to help healing the burn wound faster and prevent possible bacterial infection. Do not pick any scabs which are formed as the part of a proper healing.