First Aid for First Degree Burns
Here are the first aid steps to be taken in case first degree burn injury. But before that one must be able to identify a first degree burn from other types of burns.
What are First Degree burn injuries?
These burn injuries usually happen as a result of some domestic activity. These are of minor severity and take three to six days to heal completely. They are treated as minor burns unless the burned portions involve large portion of hand, face, feet, buttock, groin or any other part that needs emergency medical attention
Signs and symptoms of first degree burn injury
• Only outer layer of the skin is burned
• Skin becomes reddish.
• Skin turns white on touch.
• Pain develops
• Swelling is present
• Blisters may or may not develop.
First aid treatment of first degree burns
o Take the patient away from the source of heat from which the injury has been caused to prevent further affect of it on the patient.
o Carefully remove any burnt clothing, jewellery, watches etc from the injured area before swelling begins
o Put the burnt area under cool water. Alternatively one can soak the burn in cool water. This will help in reduction of swelling as cool water pulls away heat from the burn. Cooling the burn with water for ten minutes will relieve swelling as well as pain. In case cold water is available then any harmless liquid such as milk or canned drinks can alternate.
o The burnt portion must be carefully cleaned.
o After cleaning dry it gently.
o Apply an anti biotic such as Silver Sulphadiazine. Alternatively any skin care product such as those containing aleo vera can be applied.
o Apply a dry gauze loosely around the burn to cut off air from it. You can use any sterile bandage to cover the burns. The injury should be covered with non-fluffly material. In case of unavailability of a sterile bandage a clean plastic bag or kitchen film may be used.
o Take a regular pain killer such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or naproxen to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
o Burns tend to develop tetanus infection. Take a tetanus vaccination after consultion a doctor.
What not to do in case of first degree burn injuries:
• Adhesive dressings must never be used on a burnt area.
• Do not break any blisters that may have formed.
• Do not fiddle with the injured area.