Top Tips to Relieve Burns

By: Raymond Lee

Scalding tap water, the business end of a red-hot iron, a welt from a hot oven rack, all can cause an excruciating painful burn. So the most effective burn remedy is to avoid getting burned in the first place. Wise advice. But if you do get scalded or singed and you probably will at some point, it is important to act fast, both to ease the pain and to save your skin. What you do in the first few moments is crucial. Common household burns are the kind that you get if you grasp the handle of a smoking saucepan or brush your calf against a blistering-hot radiator. They are known as first- or second- degree burns resulting in redness, pain, and some blistering. More serious burns needs a doctor's attention. Here are some tips that you can consider to adopt to relieve your pain.

Cool the burn. Flush the burn with cold water until the pain stops as long as 20 to 30 minutes. The heat from a burn continues to penetrate your skin even after you have removed the source of the heat. Cool water can help prevent the burn from going deeper. If using running water is too painful, try a cold-water compress.

Save the salve. Wait for a while before applying any kind of salve or ointment to your burn. You have to neutralize the heat first. Otherwise, all the salve will do is baste the burn by keeping the heat inside. When can you use salve? Hours later. If the burn is still painful and you develop a small blister, you can apply ointment to keep the burn lubricated. It is recommended using an ointment containing the antibiotic bacitracin.

Aid the aloe. Use the cooling gel of the aloe vera plant to ease the pain of a superficial burn. As with salves and ointments, you should hold off on the aloe to give the burn a chance to neutralize. At that point, you can apply the gel twice a day, either directly from the leaf of the plant or in bottled form. Use the clear kind, not the stuff with added coloring.

Keep the burn covered. Cover a burn with loose gauze, not an adhesive bandage. Or try an over-the-counter product called Spenco Second Skin. It is a thin layer of synthetic material that can be applied over superficial burns. It is very soothing. Put one on your burn, and chill its replacement in the refrigerator. Why the fridge? Keeping the product could makes it more effective as a pain reliever. A bonus benefit to bandaging your burn is that you are less likely to bump it as a bandage reminds you that the burn is there.

Speed healing with C. While it won't help reduce the pain, taking 500 to 1,000 milligrams of vitamin C a day can help a burn. It is recommended taking the mineral zinc. Take 25 to 5o milligrams of zinc a day after you burn yourself and continue until the burn heals. Bear in mind that high levels of zinc can be toxic and should be taken only under the guidance of your physician.

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