Burns are one of the most common household injuries, especially among children. The term “burn” means more than the burning sensation associated with this injury. Burns are characterized by severe skin damage that causes the affected skin cells to die.
Most people can recover from burns without serious health consequences, depending on the cause and degree of injury. More serious burns require immediate emergency medical care to prevent complications and death.
SYMPTOMS OF BURN
Burn symptoms vary depending on how deep the skin damage is. It can take a day or two for the signs and symptoms of a severe burn to develop.
- 1st-degree burn. This minor burn affects only the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). It may cause redness and pain.
- 2nd-degree burn. This type of burn affects both the epidermis and the second layer of skin (dermis). It may cause swelling and red, white or splotchy skin. Blisters may develop, and pain can be severe. Deep second-degree burns can cause scarring.
- 3rd-degree burn. This burn reaches to the fat layer beneath the skin. Burned areas may be black, brown or white. The skin may look leathery. Third-degree burns can destroy nerves, causing numbness.
CAUSES OF BURN
Burns are caused by:
- Hot liquid or steam
- Hot metal, glass or other objects
- Electrical currents
- Radiation, such as that from X-rays
- Sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet radiation, such as a tanning bed
- Chemicals such as strong acids, lye, paint thinner or gasoline
COMPLICATIONS OF BURN
Complications of deep or widespread burns can include:
- Bacterial infection, which may lead to a bloodstream infection (sepsis)
- Fluid loss, including low blood volume (hypovolemia)
- Dangerously low body temperature (hypothermia)
- Breathing problems from the intake of hot air or smoke
- Scars or ridged areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue (keloids)
- Bone and joint problems, such as when scar tissue causes the shortening and tightening of skin, muscles or tendons (contractures)
PREVENTION OF BURN
To reduce the risk of common household burns:
- Never leave items cooking on the stove unattended.
- Turn pot handles toward the rear of the stove.
- Don't carry or hold a child while cooking at the stove.
- Keep hot liquids out of the reach of children and pets.
- Keep electrical appliances away from water.
- Check the temperature of food before serving it to a child. Don't heat a baby's bottle in the microwave.
- Never cook while wearing loosefitting clothes that could catch fire over the stove.
- If a small child is present, block his or her access to heat sources such as stoves, outdoor grills, fireplaces and space heaters.
- Before placing a child in a car seat, check for hot straps or buckles.
- Unplug irons and similar devices when not in use. Store them out of reach of small children.
- Cover unused electrical outlets with safety caps. Keep electrical cords and wires out of the way so that children can't chew on them.
- If you smoke, never smoke in bed.
- Be sure you have working smoke detectors on each floor of your home. Check them and change their batteries at least once a year.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on every floor of your house.
- When using chemicals, always wear protective eyewear and clothing.
- Keep chemicals, lighters and matches out of the reach of children. Use safety latches. And don't use lighters that look like toys.
- Set your water heater's thermostat to below 120 F (48.9 C) to prevent scalding. Test bath water before placing a child in it.
Also be alert to burn risks outside the home, especially if you are in places with open flames, chemicals or superheated materials.
HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT OF BURN
Apis mellifica : This remedy relieves pink, swollen skin with itching, burning pain improved by applying cold compresses.
Urtica urens : When a burn is mild and the primary symptoms are redness and stinging pain, this remedy often brings relief. It is often useful for sunburn when the pain is prickly and stinging.
Second degree burns
Causticum – This a wonderful remedy for burns of a second degree. It will remove the pain and speed the healing of the skin quite some. The sensation of a Causticum state will be burning, rawness and soreness. There can be restlessness and irritability with tearfulness. This is a remedy is very good for burns that are slow in healing.
Third degree burns
Cantharis. Cantharis is very good for severe pain and shock. The symptoms that it matches for burns are when they are very inflamed and have the sensation of rawness and smarting which is better for cold being applied. This remedy should be used for all extensive burns. Cantharis is an excellent remedy for urine infections which may or may not accompany the symptoms. If that symptom appeared, it would most certainly be a clear indicator that this remedy was needed.e.t.c