A burn is one of the most painful injuries to the skin and other body tissues. Although burns are categorized into three – the first degree, second degree and the third degree – it is important for the victim to have any burn injury checked and treated by a medical practitioner. Treating a burn as a serious injury and getting proper treatment will minimize the pain that you are going through and will also be a sure way of preventing infection to the wound.
People get burn injuries every day and it being such a common injury, it is important for everyone, regardless of their age, to understand the different types of burns and how to treat them. First, you need to understand that most burns are caused by electricity, hot liquids, chemicals, friction and radiation. It is therefore necessary to be careful when handling any electrical appliances and while cooking in the kitchen.
Types of burns
There are three types of burns and each of them is treated differently:
- First degree burns – Minor burns, mostly those caused by heat, are classified as first degree burns. The burns cause discoloration of the skin pigment although the bruising may be darker on certain people and lighter on others. Fortunately, for the first degree burns, there are no blisters or deep tissue damage.
The best burn treatment for first degree burns is to run cold water on the bruised area for at least 5 minutes. However, do not place ice on the burnt area because it may cause further damage to the skin. After running the cold water and at least easing the pain, you can then apply a burn cream that is recommended for first degree burns.
- Second degree burns – These are burn injuries that are too serious to be categorized as minor injuries. The second degree burns are known to cause skin discoloration but are also accompanied by painful blisters. To treat a second degree burn, you can start by running some cold water on the burn to stop the burning process and ease the excruciating pain.
Never attempt to prick or break the blisters and this may lead to serious infection which may be life threatening. And never place a cold towel on the blister as this might break the blister open and cause infection on the wound.
Although you can treat a second degree burn with a powerful burn cream, it is best that you seek medical assistance for proper treatment.
- Third degree burns –These are the most serious burns and are normally caused by electricity and chemicals. For the third degree burns, a victim is normally overwhelmed by the pain from charring and the wounds from the burn. As a matter of fact, third degree burns are life threatening and if they are not attended to with immediate effect,they can lead to loss of life.
Do not attempt to treat third degree burns at home or by yourself. Call the emergency contacts as soon as possible, explain to them the seriousness of the burn and try as much as possible to stay calm to avoid further tissue damage.
With that said, it is important for you to have a good burn cream at home or in the office just in case you need to use it. But because there are so many types and brands of burn creams and burn ointments, it is important for you to buy one that you can trust. Believe it or not, there are certain creams and ointments that will worsen the injury instead of soothing it. So, here are some useful tips to help you choose a good burn cream for you and your loved ones:
- Choose creams that have some pain relieving effects – As said above, burns are very painful, especially if you have second and third degree burns. Therefore, you will need something to relieve the pain and soothe the skin.
- Choose creams that have disinfecting effects – One of the best ways to treat burns is to reduce the risk of infection by all means possible. Get a cream that not only eases the pain but also minimizes the chances of infection.
- Choose a burn cream that is tested and approved for use – Check to see if the cream you intend to buy is tested and approved by the relevant boards dealing with health matters. If not, (please) do not use the cream but look for something that is approved for use. If you cannot find a cream that is certified and approved, then go to a clinic or health institution for treatment.