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Video:How to Treat a Burn

with Rod Brouhard

Burns can be very painful, but if you follow these simple burn treatment rules, they will heal faster and leave fewer scars.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Treat a Burn

Hi, I'm Rod Brouhard, your Guide to first aid at About.com. Burns destroy skin, which can lead to infection, dehydration and loss of heat. If you believe the victim’s life is in danger, call 911 immediately.

Stop Burns Quickly

Stop the burning process. Cool burns with running water for at least 5 minutes. Look for blistering or missing skin. If an area larger than an arm or the thigh is blistered – or missing skin – call 911.

Types of Burns

Remember, sunburns are no different than other types of burn and large blistered areas should be seen in the emergency department.

Severe Burn Treatment

Burns cause swelling that can cut off circulation. Burns that go all the way around the hands or around the feet, as well as those to the face or genitals, need to go to the emergency department.

Mild Burn Treatment

Mild burns and those without blisters can be treated with burn ointments or sprays to reduce pain.

Burns and Pain Relief

Over the counter medications such as Tylenol or Advil can also be used for pain. Follow the directions on the label, and contact your doctor if the pain is not relieved adequately.

Avoid Burn Treatment Myths

Never put butter or oil on burns. Butter and oil trap the heat in and make burns worse.

Burn Healing Time

It may take several days for a mild burn to heal. Wear loose clothing with soft fabrics like silk and light cotton. Harsher fabrics will irritate the burn and cause pain.

Watch burn victims carefully. If the victim of a burn develops a fever, difficulty breathing, weakness or dizziness, call 911 or take the victim to the emergency department.

For more information, visit us on the Web at firstaid.about.com.
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