Skin burns: the right things to do

Brûlure de la peau : les bons gestes à adopter

Burned skin can affect anyone because of ultraviolet radiation or thermal heat sources such as hot liquids and vapours, flames and hot iron. What to do in case of skin burn? It all depends on the extent and depth of the burn. Zoom on the solutions available to you!

Where does a skin burn come from?

Your skin can be burned in several different ways, the most common being contact with a heat source such as hot iron, flame, embers, hot liquid or steam. Especially in summer, we also tend to expose ourselves too much to the sun. And intense sunburn can cause deep burns.

In any case, burning the skin leads to destruction of the skin. Sometimes it is superficial and only affects the epidermis. In some cases, the burn is deeper. But how to assess the degree of skin burn?

It is necessary to take into account the depth of the burn where we speak of:

  • First degree burn: this is usually caused by sunburn causing red, painful and dry skin. She never has blisters.
  • Superficial second degree burn: the lesions are more painful than those of the first degree with red, weeping and swollen skin. She is also covered in blisters with clear fluid inside.
  • Deep second degree burn: the deep layer of the skin is affected. The same goes for nerve endings. This is why the lesions are less painful. On the other hand, the case is serious. You will notice that the burnt skin is pale under the whitish blisters.
  • Third degree burn: this type of burn destroys the nerves, but also the muscles and the bones. You will notice that there is a black or brown sunken sore surrounded by swelling. On the other hand, there is no blister.

What to do in case of skin burn?

It must be said immediately if it is a serious burn, from deep second degree to third degree, you must call the emergency services and consult a doctor for appropriate treatment.

But in the event of a first degree skin burn, here are some things you can do quickly.

  • Run water that is neither too hot nor too cold, around 25°C, over the burn for minutes.
  • Gently dry the skin by dabbing with a soft towel.
  • Apply a healing cream based on calendula or a pharmaceutical ointment such as Biafine.
  • It's best to leave the wound exposed to speed healing, but if necessary, you can cover it with a sterile dressing.
  • If the pain is unbearable, you can take painkillers.

Generally, a first degree skin burn heals in less than a week without leaving a scar.

If you are the victim of a minor second-degree burn, you can adopt the same first steps: put the wound under running water between 15 and 25°C for 15 minutes and take analgesics to reduce the pain.

Then, you will have to consult a doctor to make a local dressing. Depending on the depth and extent of the burn, it may or may not be an antibacterial dressing. Sometimes surgery may be needed for skin grafting or excision. In general, a second degree burn takes 2 to 3 weeks to heal.

What are the steps to take in case of sunburn?

It is not only contact with heat sources that can cause skin burns. Ultraviolet rays can also cause burns and other damage such as eye damage.

Sunburn can affect your skin in many different ways. As a reminder, they are due to UVB rays which penetrate the skin deeply. Like contact with a heat source, sunburn can cause first-degree, superficial or deep second-degree burns.

As soon as you feel sunburned, get in the shade and cool the inflamed area. It is enough to run water through it for a quarter of an hour. If several areas of the body are affected, it is advisable to take a lukewarm bath. Avoid ice water or ice because even with a soothing effect, they may further damage the skin.

Then, apply a sedative ointment to the burned area to reduce pain and speed up healing. It is obvious not to expose yourself to the sun during the days that follow since the skin is still fragile. If it is a second degree burn, the blisters must be disinfected with an antiseptic to avoid any risk of infection.

Moreover, when you expose yourself to the sun, always put on a cream with a powerful sunscreen, even on cloudy days, because the sun's rays are always present. And avoid prolonged exposure especially during the peak of UV rays between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Finally, in order to regain beautiful skin following a skin burn, you must adopt an effective beauty routine. Always remember to cleanse your skin thoroughly morning and evening with micellar water and/or a cleansing gel . Promote cell renewal with exfoliation . Finally, apply a cream suited to your needs, such as a moisturizer, an anti-aging cream or even an anti-blemish cream .

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