What to Do When You Burn Yourself
Chances are that at least once in your life you’ll suffer some degree of a burn. Anyone who cooks can tell you that cuts and burns are pretty common in the kitchen. There are some things that you can’t just shake off, and if you’re not experienced in treating burns, here’s what you should do.
Before we continue, keep in mind that you can visit a local pharmacy near you for minor burn treatment options, including burn relief creams and sterile gauze.
Cool in Running Water
After removing yourself from the cause of the burn, the best thing you can do is cool it under running water for 10 to 20 minutes. Make sure that the water is lukewarm and never use ice or any greasy substances like butter. Despite popular belief, toothpaste isn’t actually an effective home remedy for burns. It can cause skin irritation, chemical burn, or discolouration.
Remove Clothing or Jewellery Near the Affected Area
In order to effectively treat yourself be sure to remove any clothing or jewellery from the affected area. This will give you space to work at the wound. It will also avoid any possible irritation that the clothing or jewellery would cause the skin.
Be warned: If something is stuck to the burned area then do not attempt to remove it. Doing so could cause even more damage to your skin.
Use Saran/Cling Wrap around the Burn
You might not have known this but saran wrap is ideal for covering burns. Saran wrap won’t stick to your wound, is clean, and will protect your burn from getting infected. It also retains moisture which keeps skin from drying out, reducing chances of scarring.
Use Over-the-Counter Medication
You may already have over-the-counter pain relief medications at home but if not then you can easily find them at your local pharmacy. The products you should look out for contain ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, etc.), naproxen sodium (Aleve), or acetaminophen (Tylenol, etc.).
When to Seek Medical Attention
The above advice is good for minor burns or immediate treatment of anything worse. But for major burns, you should call 911 or seek medical attention straight-away.
For serious burns look out for the following:
- A deep burn that has penetrated layers of skin
- Dry and leathery skin
- Charring or discolouration
- A burn that effects your face, hands, or major joints
Chemical or electric burns should be treated seriously, and you will need emergency care right away.
Prevention is Key
Sometimes accidents happen but by developing safe habits you’ll be less likely to get yourself burned in your home. You can take small precautions like turning your pot handles towards the rear of the stove.
Keep watch of the oven when cooking, or refraining from wearing loose-fitting clothing that can easily catch fire.
And of course, always have working smoke detectors on each floor of your home. Remember that they need to be checked and their batteries changed at least once a year.
Doing this will not only prevent the chance of you getting a burn but will also help save your life!
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Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela, and wife to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.