Should I put a bandage on my burns? Does it feel better?

There are different types of burns, depending on the severity and extent of the burn and treatment depends on the type of the burn. Burns are broadly classified into three categories.

  • First-degree burns, which are red and painful. There may be some swelling and the burn generally turns white if you press on the skin. Within a day or two the damaged skin may peel away.
  • Second-degree burns are thicker, very painful and cause the formation of blisters. The damaged skin becomes red or splotchy and there is likely to be marked swelling.
  • Third-degree burns create extensive damage to all layers of skin, leaving the burnt skin looking white or charred.

Minor burns can be treated effectively at home. This would include first degree burns and second degree burns, provided they do not cover an area larger than the size of your palm.

To cool the burn expose it to cold running water for around five minutes or till the pain subsides. If running water is not available at the time immerse the burn in water or apply a cold compress. This will help to reduce swelling. Never apply ice as it can further damage the tissue through frostbite.

You can then cover the wound with a bandage, but make sure it is a dry sterile gauze bandage. Never use fluffy cotton or any similar fluffy material for dressing the burn as this will further irritate the skin. Do not wrap the gauze or bandage tightly as there should be no pressure on the burned skin. Dressing the wound in this manner is in fact advisable as it keeps air off the skin, reduces the pain and offers protection for blistered skin. You will need to change the dressing frequently, and when doing so make sure your hands are clean and dry. If the dressing has stuck to the wound, soak it in warm water before trying to remove it. There are also special bandages available today, specifically meant for burns. Collodial silver bandages are a good option. Silver dressings are in fact used frequently in hospitals to control and prevent infections in major wounds or burns.

Minor burns do not require any further treatment. However, be wary of an increase in the pain, fever, redness, swelling or oozing as this could be a sign of infection, in the event of which you must seek medical attention.

answered by G R

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