Skin is the largest organ and also the essential protective covering of our body. So in any incidence of injury or burn, it is the part which is most affected. The function of the skin is to protect the inner layer of the body and in case of any burn; it absorbs the heat and gets burnt first and foremost. A burn can be caused by fire, steam, hot liquid, chemicals etc.
Some superficial burns can be treated at home without any doctor’s supervision, however if the burn is of second or third degree immediate medical attention and support is needed. Swollen, infected or extremely painful burns should also not be neglected. Here are some first aid steps that can be followed for minor skin burns.
First Aid to be given in Case of Skin Burn
Do not Let in Air Contact
If a person’s body catches fire, first you should try to cut off the air supply, so that the fire douses off. Put water on the person or cover him with a blanket to douse off the fire. Throwing mud on the person also helps to put off the flame, if water is not available. Help the person to ‘stop, drop and roll’ to put off flames. (You can use fire extinguishers if available in case of major burns too).
Remove the Source
Remove the burning object or the cause of burn from the person.
Make the Person Lie Down
Then you should make the person lie down comfortably and try to keep the burnt part at a little elevated angle, which is above the heart level to prevent shock, and observe his or her condition and likewise call the ambulance or doctor.
Remove Tight Accessories
Try to remove tight things worn by the person, such as belts, jewellery, tight clothes etc. If the burnt clothes are sticking to the body of the person, then you should try to remove it by cutting or tearing around it.
Use Running, Cold Water
Hold the burnt area under running water and if running water is not available, then try to immerse the part under water to decrease the burning sensation and pain.
Sterile items to be used
If the burn is too much then avoid touching the burnt area with your hands but cover lightly with a clean soft cotton cloth, a sterile non adhesive bandage or gauge to protect.
Give some pain reliever medicine such as ibuprofen etc, to help lessen the pain.
You should seek the advice of a doctor if the pain and burning lasts more than a few hours. Also get a tetanus injection, if it has not been taken since a long time and is due.
Apprehend How Serious it is
If the burn is of a second degree (that is upper two layers of the skin has got burnt), then you should hold the burnt part under running water for ten to fifteen minutes, and if running water is not available, then put cold water compress, until a medical help is received. In case of severe burn, you should make arrangements to carry the person to a medical center or hospital to get the treatment as soon as possible.
Do not do –
- Do not break the blisters or apply any ointment, as it may cause infection.
- Do not put ices on the burnt part, as lowering the temperature may cause damage to the already damaged or burnt area.