Burns can be classified by the amount of damage done to the skin and other body tissue. Each of us and every family member must be able to identify the degree of burns and you must be confident to treat them.
Basically, burns can be classified as first-degree burns, second-degree burns and third-degree burns.
First-degree burns are minor and it can be heal quickly within one to six days. The symptoms for the first-degree burns are the outer skin layer (epidermis) is reddened or discoloration, mildly swollen and sore and the skin layer appear to be not burn thoroughly. For the second-degree burns, it requires immediate first aid and professional medical treatment because they are serious injuries. These burns are severe as it affects both lower layer (dermis) and the outer layer of the skin. It has blistered skin, redness, mottled and it is very painful. The third-degree burns are the most severe injuries and it requires immediate professional medical treatment. These burns affect the skin’s outer and deeper layers and may also affect underlying tissue and organs and thus victim may experience severe pain or no pain at all. You can see the black and white and charred tissue, surrounded by blistered areas with little or no pain at first.
As for the first-degree burns, the affected area should be flushed immediately with cool running water for about 10 minutes, before applying moist dressings or non-fluffy dressings and finally bandage the affected area loosely.
If the second-degree burned area is larger than 2 to 3 inches in diameter and cover the area of hands, face, buttocks, or important joins, do not treat the victim yourself. In this case, you should seek for immediate medical help from the local doctor. However, for the second-degree burns that are lower than 2 to 3 inches in diameter, you could immerse the burn in cold water or cool it with cold compresses. Do not simply put ice in the affected area as it can cause frostbite which tends to damage your skin. You may also hold affected areas for 5 minutes under the running cold tap water until you feel the pain relieves. Then cover the burned area with the gauze loosely and bandage it to protect the blistered skin.
If a person has been burned badly by fire, fast action on your part is very important. Firstly, make the victim lie down. Place the victim’s head and chest a little lower than the rest of his body. Then raise the victim’s legs if possible and call the hospital for immediate medical help.
Meanwhile, you can do the following to a fire victim. First, take a piece of clean material such as sterile gauze, clean sheet or a T-shirt and place it over the burned area. Then gently pour water over it, keeping the material wet. Remove all jewelry around the burned area.
There are also few things that you cannot do to a fire victim. Do not remove clothing from the victim’s body that is stuck to the burn. Also, do not break the blister because it can worsen the condition and cause vulnerable infections. Besides that, do not apply any burn ointment, butter, cream, antiseptic sprays, lotions, ice or any other remedies on the burned area as it can worsen the victim’s condition. Do not force the victim to walk. Be aware not to immerse severe large burns in cold water directly as this could cause the victim becomes panicked and shock.
Lastly, I hope all these tips can help you treat a burn victim successfully.