The Dos and Don’ts of Burn Treatment
Individuals of all ages may suffer from burn injuries which is why it is important for individuals of all ages to learn about ways of preventing burn injuries. It’s also a good idea to learn what you should and shouldn’t do if you do suffer a burn and to know where the local burn center is.
Do Use First Aid
You can usually treat first-degree burns at home without having to go to a burn center. These minor burns appear red and perhaps a little swollen. First, soak the area in cool water for five minutes. Then, apply antibiotic ointment and a dry gauze bandage. A second-degree burn is more painful and swollen than a first-degree burn, and it typically produces blisters. Second-degree burns should be soaked in cool water for 15 minutes.
Don’t Delay Seeing a Doctor
If you suffer from a third-degree burn, you’ll need to seek emergency care right away. Third-degree burns look charred or white, and they do not typically cause much pain because of damage to the nerves. You should also consider seeing a doctor for a first-degree or second-degree burn if the area is larger than a couple of inches in diameter or if it is located on your face, genitals, hands, feet, or a major joint.
Do Follow Your Doctor’s Discharge Instructions
Following your doctor’s instructions will facilitate the healing process. For instance, you may be instructed to change the dressing daily, including gently washing the area and applying more antibiotic ointment.
Don’t Cause Further Damage
It’s essential to avoid putting ice or ice water directly on a burned area, regardless of how severe the burn is. You should also avoid scratching the area, which may break blisters and inflict further damage. Never put butter or oil on burn injuries. Additionally, for third-degree burns, avoid soaking the area in cool water, applying any ointment, or removing any clothing that touches the area.
The specialists at the Grossman Burn Center of West Hills Hospital are leaders in their field. The Grossman Burn Center provides comprehensive burn treatment, including acute care, reconstruction, rehabilitation, and psychological counseling. If you live in the West Hills area, we encourage you to learn more about the healthcare services available at our community hospital by calling our Consult-A-Nurse line at (818) 676-4000.