The time it takes to get burned at home is really short. A sizzling pan on the stove or stepping into a bath that is excessively hot might cause it, which is especially dangerous for those who have diminished sensation in their feet. You can prevent burns by being aware of their typical causes. And knowing what to do right away in case they occur is essential.
Common causes of burns
According to Dr. Colleen Ryan, staff surgeon at the Sumner Redstone Burn Center at the Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital and Shriners Children's Hospital in Boston, there are a number of prevalent causes of burns, particularly in older adults, and the majority of them are unquestionably avoidable. Here are some illustrations.
Explosions. People who use a home oxygen tank while smoking frequently experience explosions.
clothing that catches fire. " This frequently happens when a person wearing sleeves reaches over a gas burner flame. For many years, that was the main reason why women with burns were admitted to our hospital. Now, guys also experience it, according to Dr. Ryan.
Hot water burns. If your water heater is set to 140°, it will take around three seconds to burn you, whereas 130° will take about 25 seconds. However, if the temperature is set to 120 degrees, it takes nine minutes. According to a study from the journal Injury Prevention that was made available online on March 7, 2023, from 2016 to 2018, these scalds resulted in more than 52,000 trips to the emergency room and more than 100 deaths.
Burning at home. Careless smoking or unattended candles may be the cause of these.
Types of burns
Based on how deeply they pierce the skin's surface, doctors categorize burns.
The first degree of burns is regarded as superficial. They are red and unpleasant, only affect the epidermis of the skin, and often go away in a few days. "The epidermis can regenerate itself, so if it is injured, it can fully regenerate and doesn't scar," Dr. Ryan explains. An example of a first-degree burn is a sunburn.
First-degree burns initially resemble second-degree burns, but later blisters appear. The burns, which affect both the epidermis and the dermis, the deeper layer of skin, are extremely painful while they are open and exposed to air. Scar tissue replaces them after a longer healing process.
When both the epidermis and dermis are damaged, a third-degree burn results. This frequently happens in vulnerable places, like the back of the hand. Because the nerves have been destroyed, the burned area isn't painful in and of itself, but the nearby skin frequently feels uncomfortable. "These burns heal very slowly over time, and only if they are very small and the skin can grow from the edges," Dr. Ryan explains. If not, surgery is required to close them.
What to do if you are burned
The moment you experience a burn, timing is of the essence. Dr. Ryan suggests running cool water over a small area of burned skin for 20 minutes to help prevent further damage. Next, apply petroleum jelly or an over-the-counter antibiotic cream (like Neosporin or Bacitracin), followed by bandaging the burn.
Don't pop a blister if one forms. As soon as you can, apply some antibacterial cream, wrap it in a bandage, and visit your doctor.
A second-degree burn the size of a deck of cards or larger requires immediate medical attention or a trip to the emergency department." And don't submerge yourself in cool water if you have a first- or second-degree burn on a sizable portion of your body, possibly from a bathing mishap. Hypothermia might result from that. Keep warm and dial 911 right away, advises Dr. Ryan.
For all third-degree burns as well as second-degree burns to the face, hands, feet, or genitalia, dial 911. The care babies get in the first few hours is really important.
Additionally, keep in mind that all third-degree burns and severe second-degree burns are particularly susceptible to infection. Your physician might advise dressings and ointments.
You can stay safe by taking these actions:
If you have an oxygen tank in your home, make sure it is maintained and that any smoking—if it is necessary—occurs elsewhere.
Use side-by-side burners rather than front and back burners for cooking. Avoid wearing long sleeves close to a stove. If a microwave is an option, use one. Additionally, think about purchasing an induction cooktop, which uses a magnetic field to heat cookware.
Set your water heater no higher than 120 degrees. Before entering your bath, think about using a thermometer to check the water's temperature.
When children are nearby, exercise extra caution. Turn off or block fireplaces; add an ice cube to hot soup; let heated infant formula cool; and unplug treadmills that could cause friction burns. Dr. Ryan asserts that "preventing even one burn is a better result than anything I can correct."