It is an injury caused by heat, radiation or chemical exposure of the skin. It can be treated with proper medical first aid treatment. Here are its popular myths.
Apply butter on a burn woundButter goes well with bread, not with burnt human skin. This is a very common household myth but there’s no truth in it. So, unless you want to eat your burns, keep the butter in the kitchen. Any edible oil, butter or margarine can slow down the healing process and there is also a risk of infection. Butter might also retain the heat longer and cause scarring. To make it even worse, butter makes good food for various kind of bacteria.Vinegar is good for burn woundsThis is another old household myth. Vinegar is acid and it will obviously cause more pain. Even though vinegar has mild anesthetic qualities, it causes severe pain initially. Vinegar also has disinfecting properties, but when it evaporates it severely dries the skin. The last thing you want to do a burn wound is dehydrate it. It is good to apply aloe vera lotion after washing the wound with cold water and mild soap.Applying cold meat on a burn wound is good
This one comes right out of a Popeye cartoon! Many people claim cold meat or steak can actually make a black eye feel better. Here’s the fact: it’s all false. Applying cold meat on a burn is similar to applying butter. It might feel better for a while, but raw meat contains lots of bacteria, including E. coli which can multiply inside your burn and spread to the rest of the body.
If you really want use something from the kitchen that badly, use potato peels. This is weird enough to actually work and it is even used in hospitals. The alkali property of potato peels cleans and disinfects the wound, and also retains moisture.
Alcohol is good for burn wounds as it is for cuts and bruisesDo this if you believe in extinguishing fire with petrol! This is another strange myth which has no truth in it. Alcohol has some similar properties, same as vinegar, in that it has drying properties. It evaporates and dries the skin, which is good for a cut or bruise but not for a burn wound.Nothing compares to Silver Sulfadiazine for burn treatmentIn traditional medical practice, Silver Sulfadiazine (SSD) is considered the agent of choice when treating minor burns. But, modern researches have shown that there are other methods which are more effective in treatment of burns. So, recycle the age old and false idea that SSD cream is the best for treating burn wounds. The other methods mentioned in the studies are not only more effective, but they are cheaper as well. Researches have also brought to light the fact that SSD can increase the risk of developing methemoglobinemia, neutropenia, crystalluria and erythema multiforme.Apply ice immediately for instant relief
Applying ice on a burn wound is a bad idea. The sudden change in the temperature can increase the pain. Ice may also further damage the burnt tissue. Bathe the burnt area under running water or immerse it in cold water, but never apply ice directly over damaged skin. The best thing would be to apply cold compresses for 5-10 minutes.
Use cold packs and cover your wound for about 15-20 minutes. This will help to stop damage of the surrounding tissue and to alleviate pain. You can also cover up the burn by loosely wrapping it in sterile gauze bandage or just leave the burn uncovered. Pain relievers like aspirin, ibuprofen etc work well to reduce pain.
Milk soothes superficial and minor burnsThis is another common household remedy from the kitchen or refrigerator. But it’s no good. Milk is cold, when refrigerated it’s actually colder than water, but it’s better to stick to water. Cold milk works well to cool the digestive tract when you have an acidity attack due to spicy food, but it cannot cool a burn the same way. Milk does not cure a burn when applied externally or taken internally. Milk has no analgesic properties.Toothpaste feels cool in the throat, so it must soothe burns as wellThis is another common household remedy from the kitchen or refrigerator. But it’s no good. Milk is cold, when refrigerated it’s actually colder than water, but it’s better to stick to water. Cold milk works well to cool the digestive tract when you have an acidity attack due to spicy food, but it cannot cool a burn the same way. Milk does not cure a burn when applied externally or taken internally. Milk has no analgesic properties.Pop the blisterNever pop the blister. Popping the blister will increase pain, redness, swelling and may produce a yellow discharge from the wound. The blister is like the body’s natural bandage. If the blister is broken, the wound would be opened and the fluids inside it will leak out. These fluids, called ‘serous’, create new cells and protect the newly forming skin underneath. It also protects your newly formed tender skin from infection. If you accidentally pop or break a blister, wash it carefully with antibacterial soap and apply antibiotic lotions or ointment. Allow the blister to mature and pop on it’s own.