Treating Burns at Home

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Any time you touch a surface or substance that is too hot, you run the risk of suffering a burn injury. Depending on how long you were in contact with this heated item, and depending on how hot it is, you may endure anywhere from a first degree to a third degree burn. People who are caught in dangerous situations, like house fires, are more likely to sustain very serious burns. These individuals will necessitate professional medical attention in order to recover properly.

If you simply touch a hot pan in the kitchen, however, you will likely fall victim to more minor injuries that can be treated at home. First and second degree burns (when not extensive) can be treated on your own by taking the following steps:

    • Run the burn under cool water in order to cool the surface and alleviate the pain. Do this for several minutes. Be sure to use cool tap water and not cold water!
    • Avoid covering the burn with salves, and especially with butter. Aloe vera is alright to use, as are other over-the-counter burn ointments.
    • Cover the injured area with a dry, sterile bandage in order to protect it. Wrap the area loosely, and change the bandage occasionally to avoid infection.
    • Take an over- the-counter pain reliever, like ibuprofen, to keep the swelling and irritation down.

Second degree burns are characterized by blistering in the injured area. If your skin has formed blisters, do not pop them. If a large area of your body is blistering from the burn, then you should visit a doctor for treatment.