Today’s technology has made our day to day lives much easier. Coffeemakers help us to wake up in the morning. Irons press our clothes so that we look presentable. Microwaves heat up food for lunch, and stoves and ovens help us put dinner on the table. Unfortunately, many of these products also come with their own danger – the risk of burns.
Approximately two million people in the United States each year require medical attention for a burn, many of which happened in the home. These were only the ones that were serious enough to need treatment (mainly second and third degree burns). Every day, thousands of people receive minor first degree burns that they can treat themselves at home. Here is a look at what you can do to treat minor burns yourself.
Burns, even minor ones, can be uncomfortable. Taking an anti-inflammatory after getting a burn can help to reduce your pain and speed up the healing process. An over the counter medication like ibuprofen will help reduce the swelling, pain, and inflammation.
While it may sound a little messy, using raw honey on the burn site can be both soothing and a natural antiseptic. Raw honey from the natural food store is more effective than processed honey from your local supermarket.
Cover it up
Bandaging the burn can help protect it from infection and speed healing. Use caution that the adhesive does not stick to any of the injured skin and that the bandage is loose enough to accommodate swelling and movement without cutting off circulation. Typical adhesive bandages are usually effective for smaller burns, but you may need a gauze dressing for larger ones.
Cool it off
If you become burned, try to immerse the burn in cool water immediately for at least five minutes. This will help slow down the burning and relieve pain. Use cool, not cold water, as temperatures that are too cold can damage your skin further.
Much of the pain associated with a healing burn comes from the burnt skin becoming over dried. A thin layer of moisturizer will help reduce this once the burn has healed over. Use fragrance-free lotions or oils or even aloe vera gel to help keep the area moist. Avoid picking at dry, itching, or scaling areas at the burn site in order to prevent scarring.
Be smart about fire
When you are cooking or working around a flame, dangling sleeves, strings, and other items are at risk for catching fire. Avoid wearing such garments when cooking or working with flame, or find a way to secure sleeves and ties back. Long hair can also be a risk if you are bending over the flame, so keep it tied back.
Besides the fore-mentioned moisturizing properties, aloe vera can also help a burn wound to heal faster. Some people prefer to use aloe very straight from the plant, though you can also buy aloe vera gel at most drug and health stores. Using aloe on a regular basis will help to protect the burn and reduce scarring.