Minor Burns Medical Considerations
Aloe Vera Gel: For minor burns, use the pure gel, either from the leaf of a healthy plant, or from a reliable source of pure, “Certified Plus Active Aloe Vera Gel.” (Do not use Aloe Vera “Liniment” as the liniment has been designed to “create heat” for sore muscles.)
One of the folk home remedy medicines for burns has long been using fresh Aloe Vera gel. An Aloe Vera plant would always be kept flourishing somewhere in the home. Whenever one of the family members got a mild to moderate burn, one of the leaves of the plant would be cut and the fresh Aloe Vera gel would be squeezed onto the burn site, and then gently rubbed in. This would be repeated several times during the same day, until the pain from the burn subsided. Eventually that cut part of the leaf will begin to grow back. However, if your family were prone to getting a lot of burns, it would be wise to have at least two or three plants in the house.
Mild burns are generally safe to render first aid in a home care setting. Some mild to moderate burns may also be safe, but you must watch out for signs of infection. Moderate to severe burns really need to be evaluated by a health care professional.
Most metropolitan cities have a Red Cross Center. The Red Cross Centers have first aid courses that are designed for the public. I highly recommend that both parents in any household, especially a home with children, take one of these classes. The Red Cross also offers CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation classes), both for the layperson, and for the professionals. A good portion of the CPR classes is dedicated to care of infants. Infants and children can have accidents that may block breathing, or other accidents that will require emergency care. Often that needed care must be given within just a few seconds to no more than two or three minutes. There is simply not enough time to call for help. Parents must be trained.
Burns are rated in three categories: First (red), Second (blisters), and Third (charred).
First Degree: This burn is red only. No signs of blistering. The skin is NOT broken. It is safe to treat at home without fear of infection. Caution must be rendered in infants, small children, the elderly, and those with Diabetes. (Diabetic patients often loose feeling in their lower extremities and can easily burn their feet without even knowing it.) Immediately place burnt area under cold running water, or use ice cubes, or immediately apply the Aloe Vera gel. Caution must be exercised with cleaning. Harsh cleaning can further damage the already delicate tissues.
Second Degree, mild to moderate: This burn is very red, and has blisters. A minor to moderate second-degree burn will have some blisters, but not very many. This burn is also usually safe to treat at home, if it is a small area (less than the size of a quarter). Aloe Vera Gel is still a good choice as pure, high quality Aloe Vera gel has both healing properties and also some moderate antibacterial properties. Caution must be rendered in infants, small children, the elderly, those with poor circulation, and those with Diabetes. Begin by running “clean” cold water over the burn area. This will help to clean the area, but most importantly, will cool the area. As long as the burn is still “burning,” damage to the tissue is still occurring. After the burnt area begins to cool. Apply the gel liberally and gently. If cold running water is not available, the gel can be put on the burn site immediately. Be sure to keep the area very clean. Caution must be exercised with cleaning. Harsh cleaning can further damage the already delicate tissues.
Second Degree, moderate to severe: A moderate to severe second-degree burn will have numerous blisters, some of them very large. The problem with this burn is secondary infection. The area must be kept very clean. When the blisters are large, or if the area involved is large, it is best to seek medical attention promptly. A burn area larger than about the size of about a quarter should been evaluated by a medical professional. Burning an entire forearm as an example can have some serious consequences. Dehydration, infection, sepsis, and permanent scaring are just the beginning.
Third Degree: This burn is very serious and immediate medical attention is needed. The skin is actually charred (like a piece of wood that is burnt, so it is black on one end). The burnt area is black in appearance because the skin is dead; the whole area is dead. Serious infections can result quickly causing sepsis and death. Large burn areas can cause loss of a limb, or death, if not treated quickly and properly.