What to do with burns First aid measures

If you’re not careful, your child will get burned by a hot oven, grill or candle. Burns are painful and, if widespread, can have very serious consequences. Sometimes these consequences are visible for a lifetime. Here you can find out which first aid measures help in an emergency.

Immediately (long) cool burns

The most important measure in the initial treatment of a burn is immediate cooling with running water . Namely 10 to 15 minutes (!) long. This prevents the burn from spreading to the deeper layers of the skin. If your child has extensive burns and you have to cool large parts of the body, the water must not be too cold. Otherwise there is a risk of hypothermia . If it takes too long to take off your clothes in an emergency, you can let the water run directly over your clothes to cool it down.

consequences of a burn

Depending on the severity of burns, cell tissue is more or less destroyed. This results in secondary effects that can affect the entire organism. The heat from a burn is removed from the tissue after just a few moments of cold water application. Nevertheless, a burn spreads to the deeper layers of the skin via a specific mechanism. This happens through aggressive enzymes that are released with every combustion. If they get into the tissue, they destroy large amounts of healthy cells there. Cold deactivates these enzymes. The duration of the cooling of a burned skin area is therefore decisive for the extent and the consequences of a burn.

When to see a doctor about a burn

The degree of the burn and the size of the affected body surface are decisive for the severity of a burn. The larger the burned body surface and the higher the degree of the burn, the more complications can arise. Therefore, you should only treat small burns yourself. All burns from the second degree that affect more than 2-5% of the body surface must be treated by a doctor or in the hospital.

There are three degrees of severity for burns:

  • First degree burns are characterized by redness, swelling, pain. They are typically caused by sunburn and heat that is only applied for a very short time.
  • Second degree burns are characterized by redness and blistering and pain. They are typically caused by burns and scalds from hot water.
  • Third degree burns are characterized by tissue destruction and loss of sensitivity to pain. They are caused by fire or heat that has been applied for a long time. The skin is completely destroyed, and a transplant is often necessary.

treat burns

Once the cooling with cold water is complete, you can use the following remedies to relieve the pain and promote healing.

Treat minor burns

  • Stinging nettle: Combudoron gel for the treatment of burns is available in the pharmacy. The main component of Combudoron is nettle essence. Experience has shown that it is the best remedy for treating burns. Tip: Combudoron also relieves itching from insect bites.
  • Vinegar: Helps against sunburn and a scalded tongue. Vinegar is especially good for first degree burns like sunburn. In this case, you can rub your child’s skin with pure vinegar. It is best to use apple cider vinegar. You can also use other types of vinegar, but not vinegar essence. The advantage of vinegar is that it is available in every kitchen. Another tip: Have you ever burned the tip of your tongue with hot food, tea or coffee? A sip of vinegar has a particularly soothing effect. Too mad? Then take balsamic or balsamic vinegar. Keep the vinegar or lemon juice in your mouth for about five minutes, and after a short time you will no longer have any symptoms.
  • Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is a plant that is excellent for treating burns. A plant on the window sill provides fresh, ready-to-use juice. Simply cut off a piece of one of the leaves and rub the clear flesh of the plant over your child’s burned skin.

Severe burn

In third-degree burns, the layers of skin are completely destroyed. These burns are particularly susceptible to infection. In general, no ointments, powders or essences may be applied. In the past, flour was used as a household remedy. Since flour is cool to the touch, it was thought to help with burns. But the opposite is true. Flour must not be applied to open third-degree burns because it sticks to the tissue and has to be scraped out again when treating the wound. After cooling with cold water, you should cover all open burns with a sterile bandage (included in every car first aid kit), if bandages are available. Bandage cloths can also stick to the wound.

Cling film: Help from the kitchen

You can even use cling wrap from your kitchen to cover larger burns. The cellophane foil is also suitable for open burns. Cling film from the roll is sterile, so to speak, and will hardly stick to the wound. This protects it from infection. Of course you can also use special bandage cloths. These have a smooth, low-lint surface to prevent them from sticking to the wound.

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