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5 things to keep in mind when treating a burn at home

If your hands get burnt with firecrackers on Diwali, immediately run cool water over the affected area.

Household chores like cookingcansometime cause accidental burns. When you treat the burn at home, make sure you're not making these mistakes.

Written by Sanyukta Baijal |Updated : June 2, 2020 10:51 PM IST

Cooking can be a daunting task at times especially if you're a beginner. Thanks to lockdown, many people are now trying to be aatmanirbhar (self-dependent) and taking up daily challenges of learning household chores like doing laundry, washing utensils and cooking. But at times such stress-relieving activities may turn out to be very dangerous. If you don't pay proper attention, cooking can cause accidental burns. For minor burns, people usually rely on home remedies or just apply an ointment available at home. But there are chances that that you may use the wrong method, which can even worsen the wound. So, here we are with a list of some common mistakes which you should avoid when treating a burn at home.

Putting the affected skin under ice-cold running water

Fighting heat with cold can prove to be wrong at times. When it comes to treating burns, using cold water or ice on the affected area is one of the biggest mistakes people make. It may feel good initially but will end up doing more harm than good. This is because frostbite which is a cold injury is as much a thermal injury as a burn caused by fire. They both damage your skin tissue. Also, you don't want to lower your body temperature too much, as it can impair your physiologic response to stress. Instead, run the wound under room-temperature tap water for 10 minutes.

Popping blister

If there is a blister which has been formed on the area of your burn, then don't pop it. Doing this on your own can lead to infection. Here you may need the expert help. Visit a nearby hospital or consult a doctor as healthcare providers can drain the blisters and provide dressings safely to protect the skin underneath.

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Applying antibiotics

You do not need antibiotics for minor burns as antibiotic can sterilize the entire area, which is not required. Your skin contains healthy bacteria that can heal the skin on its own. Also, make sure that the topical agents you are applying are anti-microbial, which provide an antibiotic action, but it is targeted to the affected area rather than impacting your entire body.

Using home remedies

Avoid DIY homemade first aid cream to treat burns, it can be very harmful. Some people use things like mayonnaise, mustard, honey, and butter to treat minor burns. Toothpaste is also many people's go-to home remedy for burns which is again very harmful. These products may not only make your wound even worse but may also affect your skin's healing process by trapping the heat. Moreover, if they are contaminated in any way, they may cause severe infection. Therefore, save the butter for your toast and instead use an over-the-counter, nonperfumed, antimicrobial moisturizing agent on your skin burn.

Exposure to sun

Try not to expose your injury to the sun for the first few days and keep it covered as far as possible when you're stepping out of the house. This is because sun rays can worsen your burn and may cause blistering. Use a patch or a cloth while you go out in the heat.

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