Categorized | Skin Care

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Treating Burns

We've all suffered from minor burns from time to time. As long as the burn is minor, it is perfectly safe to treat the problem at home; but you do need to toss out all of the misinformation that you might have.

You've probably told that if you suffer a burn, the best thing to do is to run to the refrigerator, grab the butter or oleo, and apply a thick coat of either to the burn. This old-fashioned remedy for a minor burn is way off the mark. Butter or oleo will hold the heat in the burn and let the heat cause more damage than it already has caused.

The best thing that you can do for a minor burn is to cool it as quickly as possible. Run cold tap water over the burn or apply ice to the burn. The idea here is to cool it off … and quick. The more quickly you can cool a burn, the less damage that the heat will cause.

To determine if you need to see a doctor about a burn, you must first determine how deep the burn is. Burns are classified according to the depth of the skin damage. Superficial burns are not serious. They are painful, but they are basically only "skin" deep. A mild over-the-counter pain reliever and a couple of days should take care of a minor, superficial first-degree burn.

A second-degree burn is more serious but can usually be rented at home; however, a doctor should be consulted. Second-degree burns usually cause blistering of the skin, and dehydration becomes a consideration. Pain relievers, topical ointments (mostly to prevent infection), and a few days of care will usually be sufficient to treat a second-degree burn.

A third degree burn is much, much more serious than either a first-degree or second-degree burn. The telling fact that a burn is a third-degree burn is that there is no pain. The nerve endings have been destroyed. It is essential that medical help be taken as quickly as possible. Recovery will be long, tedious, and painful.

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