Burn injuries can be serious, resulting in nerve damage, scarring, disfigurement, and emotional damage. There are things you can do to reduce the severity of a burn injury at the time of the accident, but some things can actually result in making a burn worse.
Below are some important tips on what to AVOID when you treat a burn injury:
#1. DON’T Break Blisters
If you skin blisters as the result of a burn injury, it’s important to try to keep the blisters in tact. Breaking small blisters (the Mayo Clinic says these are blisters small that your little fingernail) can result in infection and worsened scarring. If blisters do break, gently clean the affected area with water and a mild soap. Apply an antibiotic solution and cover the area with a gauze bandage that won’t stick to skin.
#2. DON’T Expose the Burn to Sun
Burns can already leave significant scarring, but exposing a burn injury to the sun too soon can result in further blistering and long-lasting marks on the skin. Burns require the skin to cool to fully heal, and sun exposure doesn’t achieve this. Burn experts recommend shielding burns from sun for at least three years after the time of injury.
#3. DON’T Remove the Affected Area from Water Too Early
Most people know to run cool water over a burn as soon as the injury occurs to reduce pain and draw heat from the wound. However, burn victims often only leave the affected area under water for a few minutes. Cool (not cold) water is an effective means of minimizing the damage from a burn injury but only if burn victims keep the affected area submerged under water for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Applying a cool, damp towel to the area also helps.
#4. DON’T Fail to Seek Medical Attention
People often assume burn injuries will heal on their own, especially minor, or first-degree burns. While these burns don’t always require the attention of a medical professional, many burns do. Knowing when your burn injury is severe enough to seek medical attention will help you prevent further damage. If your burn is larger than three inches in diameter, or if the affected area is a major joint, seek medical attention immediately. If you burn appears worse than a first-degree burn, causing damage to deeper tissues of the skin, go to a doctor for help.
#5. DON’T Remove Burned Clothing Stuck to the Body
If your hot fluids or chemicals cover your clothing, or your clothes cover a burn injury but aren’t stuck to the skin, remove clothing and jewelry in the affected area. However, if your burn injury is severe and your clothing is stuck to the wounded area, seek medical attention right away without trying to remove the clothing. Separating cloth from burned tissue requires the expert attention of a doctor to prevent further pain, injury, and infection.
#6. DON’T Put Eggs or Butter on the Burn
While there are at-home remedies for burn injuries that work, putting butter or eggs on the burn do not and can actually lead to infection. This advice is a common misconception you should ignore in the event of a burn injury. Putting a greasy substance on a burn can retain heat within the wound, and eggs to “draw out the heat” do not work and is not sanitary. Instead, use cool, damp teabags or ask a doctor for advice.
#7. DON’T Pass on a Tetanus Shot
Minor and major burns can result in tetanus or an infection with Clostridium tetani. Spores can enter small wounds and spread through the bloodstream, affecting motor reflexes and responses to sensory stimuli. If your tetanus shots aren’t up to date when you suffer a burn injury, get a shot from the doctor as soon as possible to prevent a dangerous infection.
#8. DON’T Avoid Seeking Legal Counsel
If your skin burn was due to someone else’s negligence, you might be eligible for compensation for pain & suffering. Contact an experienced burn injury lawyer like Estey & Bomberger, LLP to help with your case.
Call their San Bernardino office today at 909-882-2016.