How to identify the degree of your burn
Since seeking medical attention is dependent on which degree the burn is, it is important to know how to accurately identify the degree of your burn.
First-degree burn: this kind of burn only damages the outer layer of your skin. It will redden your skin but it will not blister it. This is the less serious one in the four categories of burn. You can expect it to heal without leaving a scar in under ten days.
Second-degree burn: the second-degree burn affects the deeper layers of the skin, causing both redness and blistering. The pain that comes with this is higher than the first-degree and it is likely to leave you scarred. So to prevent scarring and infection, seek medical attention.
Third-degree burn: this kind of burn affects the entire layers of your skin. So if you get this kind of burn seek immediate medical attention.
Fourth-degree burn: this is the most severe kind of burn you can experience. This one affects all the layers of the skin and does one better, affecting joints and bones. Seek immediate medical attention.
How to heal a burn fast
This is for those who sustain a first- and second-degree burn. Here are a few things you can do to help the burn heal fast.
Let cool water run over the burn
To soothe and cool the skin down, to prevent further damage, run the burn under cool water for twenty minutes. This can be done only for first- and second-degree burn. Running the burn under cool water does two things. It stops the burn from damaging deeper layers of skin and it reduces pain.
Clean the burn
The next step after running the burn under cool water is to clean it thoroughly. Do not use any other thing to clean apart from antibacterial soap. And under no circumstances should you ever scrub the burn. What cleaning does is to help the wound from getting infected. Infection slows down the healing process. If you notice that the burn is infected, please seek immediate treatment.
Bandages are not always necessary for people with first- and second-degree burns. This is because most first- and second-degree burns have open blisters. But if you think chafing is likely, or that the burn might get dirty, a bandage will do you a lot of good. Also, if the blisters have started oozing, bandage it. And while applying the bandages, apply in such a way that it is loose and doesn’t stick directly on the burn.
You may use antibiotic creams and ointments if your burns have open blisters. Then cover up the burn afterwards. This will help keep the wound from getting infected.
When you have first- or second-degree burns, you’re bound to feel pain all through the period. So over the counter pain medication will help you cope with the pain. Ibuprofen is an ideal choice. Most drugstores have this in Nigeria.
Keep out of the sun
During hot and sunny weather, you might want to keep to the shade as much as you can. Reducing exposure to sun prevents the burn from deepening and spreading. And make sure you always wear clothes that don’t stick to your body when nursing a first- or second-degree burn.
The gel form of Aloe Vera can treat and hasten the healing of first- and second-degree burns. Also, it is a common ingredient in most of the creams and moisturizers you already use. Aloe vera is known to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities that combine to improve circulation and kill bacteria.
Honey has many health benefits. And according to a systematic review from 2018, one of those health benefits include applying it to first- and second-degree burns. Before bandaging, apply honey to the bandage, then wrap the burn loosely. This will help prevent infection and soothe your wound.
For things that heal burns fast, you may have heard people talk about remedies like butter, oils, ice, egg white, and toothpaste for first- and second-degree burns. Please do not apply those. Also, even if your burn is first- and second-degree, monitor it well to be sure it is healing and not getting worse. And if you notice it is getting worse, see the doctor immediately.
Read also: How to treat heartburn during pregnancy
Source: Medical News Today
This article was first published on AfricaParent.com