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Home Remedies For Burns
Perhaps your hand hit the stove while you prepared an evening meal, or your finger touched the flame while you lit a candle. While the resulting injury should heal independently, home remedies for minor, thermal burns relieve pain and quicken recovery. The following tips address effective treatment of burns at home, while avoiding common but misguided home remedies that often worsen burns:
Stop the source of the burn. If natural heat caused the injury, apply water or a blanket to existing flames. Do not run if your clothing catches on fire. Stop, drop, and roll to successfully put out the flames.
Apply warm air if burns stem from cold temperatures. This works well for relatively small areas, including the fingers, toes, ears, nose, and face. Immersing these parts in warm water or concealing them with your clothing also serve as simple home remedies suitable for non-serious burns.
Allow cool tap water to flow over the injury in the event of a hot burn. The water should run between 10 to 20 minutes.
(Never) Use ice during any stage of the burn. While this seems like a logical way to treat burns caused by high temperatures, ice only prevents blood from properly flowing to the injured area and often contributes to increased tissue damage, scarring, and long-term loss of sensation.
(Never) Pour milk on the burn. While milk contains good fats and proteins, it does not absorb through the skin and often hosts bacteria that multiplies and leads to skin infections that only complicate existing injuries. Butter, another home remedy thought to cure burns, acts similarly to milk.
(Never) Resort to antiseptic products, including toothpaste, white vinegar, and hydrogen peroxide. Not only do these products increase pain resulting from burns, but they also contribute to bacterial growth.
When to Seek Medical Attention
Several risk factors and burn characteristics require proper, professional care. Abandon home remedies and visit the emergency room immediately should the following occur:
- The burn sufferer is younger than age 5, or older than age 70.
- Increased redness, pus-like discharge, and/or fever exceeding 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit.
- The burn completely surrounds a sensitive body part, like an arm, leg, or genitalia.
*Call 911 if the burn appears to spread into the skin, with blisters. These symptoms likely indicate a third-degree burn. Fourth-degree burns often involve burns that spread to the muscle or bone. Third and fourth-degree burns may not cause pain upon injury, but deserve emergency medical treatment.
Uptown Emergency Room warns against home remedies for burns of greater severity. If you feel that you or someone near you sustained a severe burn, and are located in the Dallas area, visit our emergency care center or call us at (214) 217-1818.