How to Manage Pain After a Burn Injury

Even if you have suffered minor burns, you should ask your doctor to examine your injuries. A mild burn may be enough to cause more serious health problems if it gets infected. There are many ways you could end up suffering a burn injury, and there are several degrees to measure the severity of burns. For each degree, there are different methods for treating the pain. These steps will help you heal as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.

First-Degree Burns

If you have ever had a sunburn or touched a hot pot on the stove, you have had a first-degree burn. This type of burn is characterized by redness of the skin and a sharp, stinging sensation. While this is the least severe type of burn, it is still hazardous to physical health and can get infected if not properly treated. Fortunately, first-degree burns can be treated effectively at home, and reducing the pain isn’t very difficult.

To begin, you should run the burn under cool or cold water for 10 minutes to ease the pain. Similarly, you can also apply a cold pack to the burn if the affected area is small enough to be entirely covered by the cold pack. Later, you should lightly apply petroleum jelly to the wound and wrap it in a clean, non-stick bandage. The jelly and bandage should be changed three times a day, and the burn should be protected from sun exposure.

While you can take aspirin or other over-the-counter painkillers, using ointments, creams, and similar products, should be avoided to reduce the risks of infection.

Second-Degree Burns

While a first-degree burn only affects the outer layer of skin, a second-degree burn affects the outer and secondary layers. Second-degree burns often result in blistering and swelling of the skin in addition to redness and more serious pain. While you should seek medical attention for a second-degree burn, it’s important to perform some immediate first aid. If you don’t cool the skin as quickly as possible, the burn can increase in severity.

In this instance, you should run the burned area under cool water for 15 minutes up to half an hour. If large portions of the body are affected, it’s best to soak in a tub that is filled with cool water to ensure the skin temperature is reduced. You should avoid applying anything to the burn unless otherwise instructed by your doctor.

The blisters should be left to pop on their own. Simply wrap the affected area in a clean, non-stick bandage and change the dressing as needed. Keeping the burnt region free of sun exposure and away from heat sources will help prevent a worsening of pain and infection.

Third-Degree Burns

The most severe type of burn is a third-degree burn, and it involves burns that reach the deeper layers of skin. The nerves are usually damaged in third-degree burns. As a result, the skin can feel numb, and pain may be minimized. The visible layers of skin can either be white or charred black. It’s vital to render first aid immediately since shock can be life-threatening. The individual should be removed from the source of the burns as quickly as possible.

While clothing may be stuck to the skin in burn areas, it’s important not to attempt to remove the clothing. Instead, cover the affected areas with a clean, non-stick bandage, cloth, or sheet to prevent further exposure to contaminants that could cause an infection. Whenever possible, raise the affected areas so that they’re elevated above the heart to limit inflammation.

Any additional treatment will have to be administered at the hospital. The individual’s doctor can give antibiotics to control the spread of infection, and he may also provide prescription-strength painkillers.

Safety First

Undergoing a medical examination and following your doctor’s instructions for treating and protecting the burn wounds is essential. Serious burns often require expensive treatments, and if someone else is at fault for your injury, you may wish to pursue compensation for burn injuries. Mild burns, on the other hand, can typically be treated with low-cost solutions.

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