This first-aid guide for minor burns will help you deal with cooking accidents

If all those YouTube videos on cooking at home have got you experimenting in the kitchen, then do keep this first-aid guide for burns handy.
first aid for skin
Treat scrapes and burns with these first aid tips! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aishwarya Chopra Published: 1 May 2020, 13:19 pm IST
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While we’re fighting covid-19, hospitals have become a no-go zone for all of us. And even though we must avoid visiting hospitals and clinics, for which we’re all taking good care of our health, you can’t always prevent injuries.

But don’t worry: for all those oops moments where immediate help is needed, we’ve got you. Starting with burns, because with all those cooking experiments you’ve been conducting at home–you never know.

But before we get to that, here’s what you need to keep in mind:
Not all burns can be tended to at home. The severity of the burns determines the treatment you should get. First and second-degree burns affect the outer and the deeper layers of the skin respectively. First-degree burns often lead to mild pain, redness, and swelling; while a second-degree burn leads to blisters and white, wet, and shiny skin.

Please note that any burns less than three inches in diameter can be treated at home, but burns involving damage to all layers of the skin are considered a medical emergency and should be treated only at a hospital.

So, what are the home remedies for burns?
These home remedies for burns can reduce pain, prevent infections, and heal mildly-burnt skin faster:

1. Use cool water: Contrary to popular belief, you must use cool instead of cold water over the burn area for about 20 minutes.

first aid guide for burns
Use cool rather than ice cold water if you get burnt! Image courtesy: Shutterstock

2. Cold compresses also work like a charm: Placing a cool compress or clean wet cloth over the burn area helps relieve pain and swelling. Apply the compress in five to 15-minute intervals. Although don’t use extremely cold compresses since they may irritate the burn more.

first aid for burns
Want an elixir of youth for your accidental burn? Trust aloe vera gel to do the job! Image courtesy: Shutterstock.

3. Also, aloe vera can help: Did you know that aloe vera is popularly known as the ‘burn plant’? Aloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory properties and it promotes circulation and inhibits the growth of bacteria. So you can apply a layer of pure aloe vera gel taken from the plant directly to the affected area.

4. Good old honey: Well, honey isn’t just sweet to our tongue but also our burn wounds. It’s anti-inflammatory and has antibacterial properties that make it an effective burn healer when applied externally.

first aid for burns
This elixir is sweet on your wounds too! GIF courtesy: GIPHY

5. Antibiotic ointments: Applying antibiotic ointments and creams can help in preventing infections. After applying it on the affected area cover it with a sterile bandage. You can consult with your doctor telephonically about the kind of cream you should be using.

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Now that you know what can help with burns, here are a few things that don’t

While our moms do know some of the best desi treatments for burns, we must stray away from these ineffective bizarre treatments or old wives tales:

  • Coconut oil: Contrary to what most people may believe, coconut oil is actually ineffective in treating burns. Oils such as coconut oil or olive oil hold heat in and can even cause the skin to burn more. So, the next time someone says coconut oil is sarv-guhn-sampan remedy, please correct them.
first aid for burns
Coconut Oil is a big NO when it comes to curing burns,ladies! Image courtesy: Shutterstock
  • Toothpaste: Another bizarre treatment that has been doing the rounds is using toothpaste for burns. Toothpaste is unsterile and could irritate the burn and create a more favorable environment for bacteria. So, cross it off your burn first aid list ladies.

So, in case you get mild burns, try these at-home treatments and don’t try to pop your blisters. Although if the burns seem much deeper, contact your doctor or visit the hospital immediately.

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