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How to treat a burn

Welcome back to the PVS blog!


In this week’s blog post, we talk about burns and minor burns, those that can occur at home and in the workplace. It’s a common accident that can happen accidentally due to various circumstances and, in most cases, does not have serious consequences.


Most minor burns are treated locally with gauze, band-aids, and appropriate dressings – we’ll talk more about this and the steps to take later. But did you know that approximately 486,000 people visit the emergency room due to a burn every year? Fortunately, most of the time hospital care is not necessary – but it’s important to recognize when the situation is serious enough to seek emergency care.



Let’s find out how to deal with a burn thanks to an article read on band-aid.com.



What is a burn?



A burn is damage to the skin and tissues resulting from various factors: excessive exposure to heat or sun, extreme cold, radiation, chemical/electrical sources. The most common causes of burns are typically:


Thermal burns: those that occur after accidental contact with fire or heat sources (such as very hot pots, kitchen stoves, etc.);


Electrical burns: those taken in contact with household current, through malfunctioning cables or electronic devices;


Sunburns: due to overexposure to the sun without adequate protection;


Friction or rubbing burns;


Ice burns: perhaps little known but often contracted, they can occur when in direct contact with ice or very cold temperatures for an extended period.


Chemical burns, caused by exposure to substances such as gasoline without adequate protection.



Following a burn, the sensations felt are usually acute pain. You may also observe:


• blister formation;

• swelling of the skin;

• peeling.


The pain can last for a few days, and the most uncomfortable moments occur immediately (right after the burn).


Depending on their severity, burns are classified as first (minor burns), second (deep), and third-degree (very serious, which destroy the dermis and epidermis and must absolutely be treated in the hospital).


How to treat a minor burn


Have you caused a minor burn and need to protect the wound correctly? Here’s how to act, step by step.

  • Cool the burned skin under cool (not icy!) running water for at least 5 minutes and no more than 30 minutes (timing will vary depending on the size of the burn). Cold water will immediately and significantly reduce swelling.
  • Dab the burned area with a dry, clean, and soft cloth. Apply, if you have it, an antibiotic/anti-infection ointment.
  • Apply a sterile bandage or gauze that covers the burn, ensuring it stays in place and doesn’t move. Change the bandage at least once a day (or as needed), always cleaning the wound thoroughly.


What do you think of this article? And what do you do when you accidentally get a minor burn?


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