There are common myths about home treatment for burns. These incorrect first aid treatments for burns are dangerous because it can cause more damage than cure.
Here are some examples of such misinformed beliefs about burn treatment.
(wrong) Application of cold butter to the burned part of the body – The cold butter will give you a cooling sensation in the affected part. However, when the butter melts, it becomes painful rather than soothing effect.
(wrong) Using alcohol on burnt area to cleanse – It is good in cleaning wound, but not burns. Alcohol can cause intolerable pain and burning sensation.
(wrong) Using cold meat to cool the affected part – This is also an incorrect way to treat burns at home. Yes, the cold meat can have a soothing effect but it can only cause infections.
(wrong) Prickling blisters for speedy healing – Pricking blisters is also not advisable because it can leave a scar in your skin. Furthermore, pricking blisters will increase the risk of infections.
Even simple burns should be treated properly and immediately because it can promote bacterial infection. Even worse is when the infection spreads throughout the body by blood circulation.
Here are the approved first aid methods for burns by the World Health Organization (WHO).
(correct) First is to remove clothes – If the affected part is covered with the patient’s clothes, it should be removed to prevent further damage to the skin.
(correct) Apply cold water on the affected area or allow running water to continuously flow in the affected part.
(correct) Extinguishing the flame – For flame injuries, you can extinguish the flame by instructing the patient to roll on the ground or cover him with blanket. You can also use the traditional fire extinguisher or water if it is available.
(correct) Chemical Dilution – In case of chemical burn, you need to dilute the chemical agent with water. Irrigate the affected part with water continuously.
(correct) Immediate Medical Attention – You should immediately bring the patient to the nearest hospital in severe cases. It is important to seek medical attention immediately to avoid burn shock.
Burn is a medical condition that must be immediately treated and should not be ignored. You may have knowledge about burn treatment, even those from your ancestor or family tradition, but you need to make sure that the knowledge you have is effective and safe. Proper burn treatment will save you from the risk of infection, or even worse, death.