Burns to the skinare quite common because they can be caused by many day-to-day things such as flames, hot surfaces and hot liquids or gases. However, burns can also be caused by faulty electrical equipment and by chemicals like those contained in cleaning fluids.
Although, burns can be painful, the pain is a valuable part of the body’s defense system. For example, if you didn’t feel pain when you put your hand on a hot stove, you wouldn’t know to take it off and your hand would get severely damaged.
There are three different types of burns:
First-degree burns are minor burns. The top layer of skin becomes red, painful, sore and damp to touch. (If you have sunburn, please see our sunburn article.) Do not break any blisters or interfere with the burn in any way. If the burn is painful, consult your doctor.
Second-degree burns are moderately severe burns. The skin is painful and sensitive as with first degree burns, but the skin damage reaches a deeper layer and blisters usually appear on the skin. Do not break any blisters or interfere with the burn in any way. If the burn is painful, consult your doctor.
Third-degree burns are the most severe burns. Because of damage to the nerves of the skin, this type of burn is usually painless, blister free and lacks sensation to touch. The burned skin can look white, charred black or red.
First degree burns can be treated from home, unless they are bigger than the palm of the hand or are located somewhere on the face, neck, hands or groin. All second and third degree burns should be seen by a doctor. (Deep or large burns, or burns to the face, hand or across joints, must always be checked by a doctor and may require hospital treatment.)
Run cold or tepid water over the burn for at least 10 minutes (20 minutes for a chemical burn). This will help cool it down and acts as an instant pain reliever. It will also prevent the burn from getting worse.
Nelsons Burns Cream provides natural first aid relief for minor burns and scalds. When applied, it can immediately help relieve pain, prevent blistering and promote rapid healing. (Always read the label on a product.)
Wrap the burn in cling film or a plastic bag to prevent infection.
After the first day, try taking Vitamin E capsules orally and, if you wish, you can squeeze a capsule onto the burn to help the healing process and prevent scarring.
∏ On no account should prescribed medication be discontinued, except under a doctor’s supervision