First aid for burns: do’s and don’ts

First aid for burns: do's and don'ts

First aid for burns: do’s and don’ts

May 1, 2022


Instructions for different types of burns, which will help you not to lose your head at the moment of danger.
Photo by Polina Zharikova

Polina Zharikova

Lifehacker author, physician

First aid for burns: do's and don'ts


A burn is an injury to the skin or mucous membranes, often caused by high temperature, and also arising from actions chemicals, radiation or electricity. These damages occupy 4th place in the list of the most common types of injuries worldwide.

When to See a Doctor

Minor burns can be treated at home: they quickly pass and leave no trace. But call an ambulance or go to the hospital is necessary if:

  • the burn was caused by electric shock or lightning;
  • it appeared due to the action of chemicals;
  • difficulty breathing or burning of the airways. Symptoms may not appear immediately, so noteif a person coughs, his throat hurts, the hair on his head or nose is scorched;
  • the burn affects deep-lying tissues – large blisters on the skin that merge with each other;
  • the skin looks dry or charred, there are white, brown or black spots;
  • the site of injury rapidly swells;
  • the damage is located on the face, buttocks or genitals;
  • got burned a child or an elderly person;
  • there are signs of shock – cold and clammy skin, shallow breathing, weak pulse;
  • received other injuries;
  • have serious chronic diseases, such as diabetes.

How to provide first aid for a burn

Burns can become inflamed, scarred, and even life-threatening, so it’s important to act as best you can. quicker. Action will vary depending on the cause of the injury.

First aid for thermal burns

Most often, these injuries appear Houses. For example, because of hot food or drinks, as well as kitchen appliances. To a little burn quickly passed and left no trace, proceed as follows:

  1. Immediately remove the wound away from the hot. The sooner you interrupt the high temperature, the less tissue will be affected.
  2. Cool the affected area with cool or lukewarm running water.
  3. Cover with a clean cloth to protect your skin. It is not necessary to tightly wrap the burn site, the bandage should not press.
  4. For severe pain, you can take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen or paracetamol.

If a burn occurs, say, during a fire or a road accident, then there may be other injuries or smoke poisoning. Therefore, in such cases, be sure to call an ambulance and provide first aid.

  1. Protect person from fire, steam, or hot objects, if you can do so without endangering yourself.
  2. Check breathing and pulse. Start CPR if necessary.
  3. Remove any clothing and jewelry near the burn, because injured tissue swells quickly.
  4. Loosely cover the area with a clean cloth or gauze.
  5. If possible, raise the wound above the level of the heart.
  6. Watch for signs of shock.

First aid for sunburn

Even on a cloudy day near the water you can get burned, so doctors recommend not to be in the sun from 10:00 to 16:00, and always use sunscreen the rest of the time. If the skin is reddened, heated and sore, you need:

  1. Move to a cool place or shade.
  2. Take a cool shower or bath to cool off. You can gently wipe the skin with a damp towel.
  3. Use light after-sun products – lotions or gels, for example with aloe vera.
  4. Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
  5. Cover skin from direct sunlight with clothing until burns are gone.

Usually sunburns disappear on their own, but if they recur or are very painful, it is worth apply to a therapist.

Learn more 🌞
  • Do’s and Don’ts for Sunburn

First aid for chemical burns

Burns caused by acids and caustics can be very dangerous. They are not visible, and the solutions penetrate deep into the tissues, therefore:

  1. Put on gloves and carefully remove the chemical, remove contaminated clothing. If this is, for example, a T-shirt, then do not try to pull it over your head so as not to accidentally stain your neck, head and hands – it is better to cut the fabric right away.
  2. Rinse the affected area with as much water as possible. Do not rub the solution over the skin, as this may increase the area of ​​the burn.
  3. As we said above, chemical burns require a mandatory examination by a doctor – seek help.

First aid for electrical injuries

electric shock dangerous the fact that outwardly they may not have any manifestations and at the same time disrupt the work of internal organs. For example, kidney or heart.

Here’s what to do with electrical damage.

  1. If you can move on your own, break contact with the current. If someone is right in front of you received injury from a low-voltage source, such as household appliances, you need to use a wooden stick or other non-conductive material to move the device away from the victim. Do not approach a person who is connected to a high voltage source, such as a transformer, current collector of an electric train, or a conductor rail in a subway.
  2. Reminder: for any electrical injury …






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *