How to treat minor burns at home

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PHOTO: iStock

From hot water bottles and heaters to kettles, baths, stove tops and open fires, burns can happen easily at home – especially in winter when we rely on external heat sources more.

George Herald reports, besides the pain caused, burns are open wounds that place us at risk of infection because the skin – our largest protective organ – is broken and bacteria can get in. And that’s why quick action is essential. Unfortunately, there are many myths surrounding burn wound care and most of these cause further damage, says Sister Renè Lessing, a registered nurse.

Follow her top tips for burn care below.

What NOT to do:
  • Never apply ice, butter, toothpaste, very cold water or egg white. These can introduce even more bacteria to the skin and cause greater damage.

What TO do:

  • Rinse the wound with cool, running tap water (or cool clean water from a container) for at least 20 minutes. This will cool down the wound and assist with the pain.
  • After rinsing, lightly cover the wound with an emergency-type dressing or a petroleum jelly gauze dressing.
  • The key is to keep it clean and minimize pain. Remember that any burn patient needs medical help, so seek professional assistance as soon as possible.

Additional treatment tips:

  • Medical-grade honey is an ideal treatment for most wounds due to its natural healing properties, so keep a tube in your first aid kit. Try Melcura™ HoneyGel (gel) or HoneyPlus (ointment).
  • If a blister forms, gently clean it without breaking the skin and cover with a thin layer of honey, followed by a gentle dressing. Repeat this process every second day.
  • Red, angry, warm wounds may indicate inflammation or infection. Clean with saline solution, apply a thin layer of healing honey and cover with gauze and a light bandage. The same can be done with a bite wound – seek medical attention as soon as possible.

For more information visit www.melcura.co.za

George Herald