So, we had our first proper accident. Ruby is quiet a busy little bee, bumps and bruises are happening on an hourly base and she sometimes doesn’t even notice anymore when she bangs off something – definitely her dads-gene pool! This morning though she managed to trick me and got to the hot iron before I could stop her, and boy, she went from very surprised to seriously annoyed that it didn’t stop to hurt and kept rubbing her hand down her front. So I had a hard time to even have a look at the burn to assess how bad it was!
Now, besides calming her and trying not to give out to her because I ever so slightly panicked over what to do next – or first I should say, it made me realize how little I actually knew. It was pure instinct to grab her and hold the hand under the cold tap. She started to feel very sorry for herself now and had a tight grip on me. I’m the generation that did not grow up with a mobile phone and my one-handed typing skills are laughable, according to my baby brother anyways.
Thank god Ruby must have not touched it for long. The burns were minor and a bit of Aloe Vera gel, TV and a lot of hugging got her to forget the pain in less than an hour. But this experience made it clear that a bit of alone-time with my best friend ‘google’ was in order. There is a lot you can use to treat minor burns. Some I knew and others I would have never thought off!
Firstly though, what do the three levels of burns look like:
- First-degree burns: red, non-blistered skin
- Second-degree burns: blisters and some thickening of the skin
- Third-degree burns: wide spread thickness of the skin with a white, leathery appearance
So, what to do?
Always hold the affected area under Luke-warm to cold water and never use ice on it. If a blister forms never pop it, because an infection can form. I have to say, that even a second degree burn looks scary enough and I would consider going to a doctor with it, depending on how big the affected area is. However, if it would look anything like the last picture I probably would have been in the car and on the way to the hospital with her before even getting a chance to think!
I can’t say now how I knew the cold water thing but it was the first thought that popped into my head. The whole area was soaked because Ruby was having none of it and I think she was too upset to realize straight away how much better it got. Fortunately we did have Aloe Vera gel at home, which is top of every remedy list. Originally bought as my partners hair got thinner and we had a freak summer, a cap just won’t stay on surfing!
So, I started researching in the evening and found a few things that really surprised me.
Raw Potato, has to top the list! We are in Ireland after all and I think I have never been to a house where you couldn’t find one. Either in slices or grated it will help due to its anti-irritating and soothing properties. It will alleviate the pain and reduce the chance of having blisters.
Honey, can effectively disinfect wounds and help heal burns, thanks to its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It also reduces the chances of developing hypertrophy scars.
Black tea bags, always the first thing that gets done is to make a cuppa! The tannin in black tea can help draw heat out of a burn and thus reduce pain. I suppose there is no need to mention that you should let the tea cool down before putting a clothes soaked with it on the wound (just the tea bag works too)
Vinegar, White vinegar contains acetic acid, a component of aspirin that can help relieve the pain, itching, and inflammation of a burn. It is also an antiseptic and astringent, so it will help keep your burn from becoming infected. Vinegar also draws heat from the burn, helping to dull pain naturally. Soak paper towels in diluted vinegar to create a soothing compress or use cotton swabs to gently dab the burn with vinegar.
Milk, The fat and protein content in milk soothes burns and promotes healing. Soak the burn in milk for 15 minutes for quick relief. Full-fat, whole-milk yogurt can also help cool and hydrate your parched skin.
There is a few more like Vanilla, oats, coconut oil and lemon juice. I picked these as my top 5 because I am 100 % certain that everyone has at least half of these in the house!