How to treat a burn – and why you should NEVER pop a blister

Posted on Dec 22 2017 - 5:24pm by admin

Burns are caused by dry heat, like touching a hot pan on a stove. A scald is caused by moist heat – for example, from steam.

Both conditions are treated in the same way, according to the NHS.

FIRST: Remove the source of heat

The first thing to do is to get away from the source of heat, to stop the initial burning pain.

Run the affected area of skin under cool, or luke warm, water for about 20 minutes. Avoid using ice-cold water.

SECOND: Remove clothes and jewellery 

Next, get rid of any clothes or jewellery near the burnt area. But, if it’s stuck to the skin, just leave it.

The affected skin needs to be covered. The best thing to use that could be found around the house is cling film, but a clean plastic bag could also work.

Painkillers could reduce pain, the NHS advised.

If the burn affected the face or eyes, try to stay sitting up right, as lying can increase swelling.

Small burns can be treated at home. Try to keep it clean, and don’t pop any blisters that may form.

It sounds obvious but you should never pop a blister intentionally as the fluid-filled sack keeps the underlying skin clean, which prevents infection and promotes healing.

You should go to hospital if the burn is bigger than your hand.

When to go to hospital 

Go to A&E if the burn causes white or charred skin, or if blisters are formed from burns on the face, hands, arms, feet, legs or genitals.

All electrical and chemical burns should be seen by a doctor, in hospital.

Children under five years old and pregnant women should also seek medical help after suffering from a burn.

A burn can cause searing pain, red or peeling skin, swelling, and blisters.

The best way to avoid getting burns in the kitchen is to use the rings at the back of the cooker, and to turn saucepan handles towards the back.

Kettles with shorter electrical cords are less likely to get pulled over the counter.

More than 80,000 people a year need hospital treatment for injuries, such as falls, cuts and burns during the festive period, according to NHS Choices.

For more information visit the NHS website; in an emergency situation call 999. 

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