This Diwali, know the do’s and don’ts of treating burns at home

If the skin hasn’t blistered and the burned area is not more than 4-5 cm, you can treat the burn at home. If the burn is in a sensitive area, like the face, visit a doctor to avoid scarring.

Do’s

1. Hold the burn under running tap water for 15-20 minutes. It brings down the burning sensation and prevents further injury to skin by conducting heat away from the skin.

2. Apply an antibiotic ointment to prevent the area from drying. Use antiseptic creams such as silver sulphadiazine.

3. Cover the burn with medicated sofratulle gauze (an antibacterial moistened gauze that doesn’t stick to the wound) to protect it from infection. If you don’t have medicated bandage, wrap gauze loosely over the burn to avoid putting pressure on the burned skin.

4. Bandaging reduces pain and protects blistered skin. Don’t cover the burn with cotton, as it tends to stick to the skin.

5. Take painkillers such as aspirin, ibuprofen or paracetamol to relieve the pain if necessary.

6. Minor burns usually heal in a week. Persistent pain, redness, fever, swelling or oozing indicates infection and needs medical treatment.

Don’ts

1. Don’t put ice on a burn as it can further damage your skin.

2. Don’t break blisters that cover and protect the wound against infection. If blisters break, wash the area with mild soap and water, then apply an antibiotic ointment and gauze bandage. Change the dressing in 48 hours.

3. Don’t use burnol or toothpaste as these don’t allow the wound to breathe.

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