Scalded skin from hot water spills is one of the most common accidents that occur in homes. Various kinds of hot water such as drinks, bath water, or boiled water can spill and splash you, causing blisters on your skin. This can happen to anyone and at any time. To treat burns quickly and appropriately, you need to look at the situation and know the type of burn you have.
Part 1 of 3: Assessing the Situation
Step 1. Look for signs of a first-degree burn
You need to assess the type of burn you have. Burns are categorized on several levels. The higher the grade, the more severe the burn. First-degree burns are superficial wounds that burn the outermost layer of skin. Symptoms are:
- Damage to the outermost layer of the skin
- Dry, red and sore skin
- Skin blanching, or turning white when pressed
- This wound will heal for three to six days without a scar
Step 2. Identify second-degree burns
If the temperature of the water is hotter and your skin remains in the shower for a long time, you may have a second-degree burn. This wound burns the superficial partial-thickness layer of skin. Symptoms are:
- Damage to two layers of skin, but only superficially in the second layer
- Red marks and seepage of fluid around the wound.
- Blistered skin
- Blanching at the sight of redness when you press on it
- Bleaching that appears red when pressed
- The skin feels sore to the slightest touch with a change in temperature.
- These sores take one to three weeks to heal and may leave scars or discoloration (lighter or darker in color than the surrounding skin).
Step 3. Identify third-degree burns
These burns occur when the water temperature is very hot and the skin is exposed for a long time. This wound burns a deep partial-thickness layer of skin. Symptoms are::
- The damage to the two layers of skin that injures the second layer is deep, but not penetrating.
- The skin hurts when the wound is pressed hard. Sometimes there is no pain due to damaged or dead nerves.
- The skin does not blanch, or turn white when pressed.
- Formation of blisters around the burn.
- Charred, leathery appearance or peeling
- Looks charred, rough and peeling
- Third degree burns must be taken to hospital and sometimes healing is done by surgery or hospitalization if the wound exceeds 5% of the body.
Step 4. Watch for fourth-degree burns
This burn is the most severe degree that a person can suffer. This wound must be given emergency help immediately. Symptoms are:
- The damage penetrates two layers of skin, along with layers of fat and muscle. In third and fourth burns the bones can also be damaged.
- Discoloration of the burn to white, gray or black.
- Dryness in burns.
- Healing is done by surgery and hospitalization.
Step 5. Watch for major burns
Burns are categorized as major if the injury occurs in the joints, or almost all over the body. If there are complications with vital signs or daily activities cannot be carried out due to burns, then the wound is considered major.
- A person's arms or legs cover 10% of the adult body while the torso covers 20% of the adult human body. If the burn exceeds 20% of the entire body, then the wound is considered a major burn.
- 5% of whole body (forearm, half leg, etc.) burned in total thickness (third and fourth degree), including major burns.
- Treatment of these burns is the same as in the third and fourth degree. Immediately do emergency help and take him to the hospital.
Part 2 of 3: Treating Minor Burns
Step 1. Identify situations that require medical treatment
Although first- and second-degree burns are considered minor, they should be treated immediately if they meet several criteria. If the wound covers the entire tissue of one or more fingers, the wound should be given medical attention as soon as possible. Otherwise, blood flow to the finger can be blocked and in the worst case amputation.
Medical care should also be given immediately if the burn is on the face or neck, most of the hands, groin, feet and soles, buttocks, or joints
Step 2. Clean the wound
After confirming that the wound is minor, please treat the wound at home. The first step is to clean the wound. Remove any cloth covering the wound area, then soak the wound in cold water. Do not run water on the wound because it will make the wound worse and damage the skin. Do not also use hot water because it will cause irritation.
- Wash the wound with a mild soap.
- Avoid using disinfectants, such as hydrogen peroxide. The healing process will be slowed down.
- If the clothes stick to the skin, do not dispose of the cloth yourself. Your wound may be more severe than expected and seek immediate medical attention. Cut off any cloth other than the skin, and apply ice-filled plastic to the burn and cloth for two minutes.
Step 3. Cool the burn
After the wound is washed, continue to cool the wound with water. Do not use ice or running water as this will make the wound worse. Soak the wound in cold water for 15 to 20 minutes. Next, compress the wound with a washcloth soaked in cold water. Just place the cloth over the wound and don't rub it.
- Wet a washcloth with water then put it in the refrigerator until it cools down.
- Do not use butter on the wound. Butter doesn't help cool the wound and can lead to infection.
Step 4. Prevent infection
Wounds must be protected from infection. Apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound such as Neosporin or Bacitracin with clean fingers or a cotton swab. However, if the wound is open, use a stemless gauze because cotton fibers can remain in the wound. Next, cover the wound with a non-sticky bandage, such as Tefla. Change the bandage twice a day while reapplying the ointment.
- Do not pop any blisters that appear.
- Do not scratch when the skin starts to itch. Bacteria from inside the nail can cause infection. Burns are inherently very sensitive to infection.
- You can apply ointments to reduce itching, such as aloe vera, cocoa butter, and mineral oil.
Step 5. Relieve the pain
Minor burns will of course be accompanied by pain. Once bandaged, raise the wound until it is high above the heart. This will prevent swelling and reduce pain. Use medications such as acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil and Motrin). Take medication as directed to relieve pain.
- The recommended dose for Acetaminophen is 650 mg every four to six hours, and the maximum daily dose is 3250 mg.
- The recommended dose for Ibuprofen is 400 to 800 mg every six hours, and the maximum daily dose is 3200 mg.
- You MUST read the dosage recommendations listed on the medicine package. The dosage of the drug may differ depending on the type and brand.
Part 3 of 3: Treating Severe Burns
Step 1. Call the Emergency Room
You should seek help immediately if you have a third- or fourth-degree burn. These injuries are too severe to treat on their own and should be treated by professionals. You must call the ER if the burn:
- Deep and severe
- Have not had a tetanus preventative shot for more than five years and burns more than first degree.
- The size exceeds 7.5 cm or surrounds the body.
- Shows signs of infection, such as redness or pain, sores oozing pus or fever
- Patients are generally less than five years or more than 70 years.
- Patients who have a weak immune system, such as people with HIV, are on immunosuppressive medication, have diabetes, or have kidney disease
Step 2. Watch the victim
Check if the injured person can still respond while you call the ER. If there is no response or are in shock, tell the ER so they understand the victim's situation.
If the victim is not breathing, perform chest compressions until an ambulance arrives
Step 3. Take off all the clothes
While waiting for help to arrive, remove all restraining clothing and jewelry. However, let clothing or jewelry stick to the wound. If forced, the victim's skin can be pulled along and aggravate the wound.
- Place a bag of ice around metal jewelry such as rings or bracelets, as metal will conduct heat away from the surrounding skin and back into the scar.
- Cut the clothing around the cloth that is sticking to the wound.
- Keep yourself or the victim warm as severe burns can cause a person to go into shock.
- Unlike minor burns, do not immerse the burn in water. This will cause hypothermia. If the burn is on a moving limb, elevate the wound to a level above the heart to prevent swelling.
- Do not use pain relievers, blister removers, dead skin removers or ointments of any kind. These drugs will interfere with the victim's medical care.
Step 4. Cover the burn
When all clothing is removed, cover the wound with a clean, non-sticky bandage. This bandage will protect the wound from infection. Use a bandage that doesn't stick to the wound, such as gauze or a wet bandage.