Minor Burns

Minor burns will usually heal on their own, and home remedies may suffice to reduce the symptoms and promote healing. However, if the patient does not attain adequate relief with home treatment or the burn does not heal quickly, medical attention must be sought. If the burn appears to be slightly more severe, medical treatment should sought right away after first-aid, without attempting home remedies.

First-aid

First-aid is crucial in case of burns, whether minor or severe. Different types of burns will require different first-aid to minimize damage:

Thermal Burns: Extinguish the flames by throwing water or covering the area with a blanket. If the clothes catch fire, stop and roll on the ground to smother the flames, and do not run. Use cold water and ice over the burnt area immediately.

Boiling Liquid Burns: Run cold water from a tap over the affected area for at least 10 minutes. Avoid using ice.

Cold Temperature Burns: Warm the frozen areas of the body by tucking them inside warm clothing or blowing warm air over them.

Chemical Burns: Determine what kind of chemical caused the burn before you can apply treatment, or consult a doctor over the phone in an emergency.

Electrical Burns: Once the victim has been removed from the electrical source, check for heartbeat and breathing before applying first-aid treatment.

Treatment

A minor burn can be treated with a skin cream or lotion specifically meant to promote healing from burns. This measure should be applied only when the burn is of first degree and the healing skin is unbroken. Skin lotions and creams help reduce itching and discomfort. If the wounded area has fluid seeping out, or there is fresh scab formation, consult a doctor. Antihistamines may also be given to reduce itching.

When a first degree burn or a minor second degree burn is three to four days old, the juice from an aloe leaf may be applied to promote healing and comfort. At first contact, aloe juice may sting into the wound, but can help in faster healing.

Protecting During Healing Period

Newly healed burns should be protected from hot and cold temperatures. Sunscreen with a high protective factor should be applied in case the affected area is exposed to sun. In fact, sun protection may be continued for at least one year following the burn. Smoking should be avoided during the healing process (smoking should be avoided period but if someone is addicted this is more easily said than done). Smoking delays healing because it restricts blood supply to the affected area and hinders in tissue repair.

Encino Medical