Did you know that more than 180,000 people die every year globally due to burns?
According to the World Health Organization, most of these cases occur in the home. While burns are preventable, it’s often almost impossible to avoid accidents at home.
Burn wounds fall into varying categories depending on the severity. However, regardless of the degree of injury on your skin, understanding the right burn wound care procedure is critical during the recovery process.
Are you wondering how to clean burn wounds while limiting the risk of infections? Here are seven burn wound care tips, everyone should know in case of burn-related emergencies.
But first, how about a brief look into the types of burns.
Main Types of Burns
Before you can consider burn wound care, it would help to know the categories of burn wounds.
First- Degree Burn Wounds
Most first-degree burn wounds are superficial and will typically heal within a short time. These burns will often manifest in the form of redness, minor swelling, and slight pain. In most cases, first- degree burns don’t result in blisters.
A second-degree burn can be slightly severe due to the underlying damage to the skin. Second-degree burns may include painful blisters. Most times, these burns have inflammation and a slight thickness of the skin. They’re highly susceptible to infections if special care lacks in the process of the wound dressing.
Third- Degree Burns
Burn wounds in this category are more deep-rooted and may lead to numbness due to the damage to most layers within the skin. The burn wounds in this category often appear white and leathery due to the damage of the nerves and the blood vessels.
While most burns rarely get to this level, fourth-degree wounds are relatively common. Fourth-degree burns may extend past the skin layers and into the flesh. Such injuries cause irreparable damage to the skin due to charring.
Burn Wound Care Tips
Depending on the degree of burns on the wound, you may want to see a specialist. However, these seven tips are critical in the course of managing such burn wounds.
- Consider Prompt First Aid
Most burn wounds progress in depth within 48 hours in case prompt first aid is not forthcoming. Before considering any further action, first aid is an essential step in the burn wound care process. Cooling is critical within the first three hours of injury.
You should consider cooling the burnt area for not less than 20 minutes under cold running water. Cooling helps decrease cell damage, pain, and inflammation. As long as cooling occurs within the first three hours, you significantly reduce wound healing time.
- Remove Constricting Articles
Accidents occur without warning. This limits the probability of removing articles such as rings, bracelets, and any other item from the affected area. But as a precautionary measure, it’s essential to withstand the pain and ensure that you remove them.
The need to remove such items is because the skin tends to swell with time as inflammation occurs. The constriction can cause cuts and infections on the wound, which may further affect the healing process.
- Proper Cleaning Is Critical
How fast the burn wound heals depends on how well you clean it. You should consider cleaning the burn thoroughly with lukewarm water and mild antibacterial soap. However, you must avoid the temptation of scrubbing the wound.
A thorough cleaning helps reduce the risk of wound infections. Often, contamination may cause a slowdown in the healing process or even force you to seek further medical attention.
There are many theories on whether bandaging a burn wound is appropriate. Well, bandaging is an integral part of the burn wound care process. However, this option is only viable in the case of third or fourth-degree burns.
One thing you ought to consider when bandaging is the extent of blistering. If the burn wound has open blisters, then a bandage is critical. Bandages help create a barrier against infections where you have an open wound.
When bandaging a burn wound, avoid sticky bandages. You need to wrap such bandages loosely.
- Consider Natural Remedies
While cleaning the area around the burn wounds helps reduce the risk of infections, burns are highly susceptible to contamination. You need to consider applying natural solutions, which can help improve the healing process.
A few options are available that might help you address the risk of infection. However, a natural spray is the best option. If you’re looking for natural ways to kill viruses, then this spray has got you covered.
- Avoid the Sun
Staying out of the sun is critical if you’re keen on the healing process. You need to keep the burn away from the sun even when running various errands. This is because the heat from the sun can increase the risk of pain or also deepen the wound.
Further, it is critical to wear loose-fitting clothing for as long as you are out in the sun. Such loose clothing not only covers the wound but also reduces the risk of further damage to the skin.
Once the skin is no longer draining, it means that the healing process is on course. However, it’s essential to keep the area well-moisturized. Part of the burn wound care process should be to ensure that you reduce the risk of skin tears.
You can consider various skin lotions that can be useful in the moisturizing process. However, these lotions must be mild to the skin to avoid any unexpected side effects.
Use These Tips to Hasten the Healing Process
A burn wound can be the cause of panic especially where the damage is severe. How well you handle the burn wound care management process can be the deal-breaker during such instances. If you’re wondering how to manage that burn wound, then these tips are all you need.
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