The Treatment of Burns
Burning or Oxidation
In spite of great caution, burns from fires, steam, or hot water do sometimes occur, and it is well to know how to relieve the suffering caused by them and how to treat the injury in order to insure rapid healing.
Burns are dangerous because they destroy skin and thus open up an entrance into the body for disease germs, and in addition because they lay bare nerve tissue which thereby becomes irritated and causes a shock to the entire system.
In mild burns, where the skin is not broken but is merely reddened, an application of moist baking soda brings immediate relief. If this substance is not available, flour paste, lard, sweet oil, or vaseline may be used.
In more severe burns, where blisters are formed, the blisters should be punctured with a sharp, sterilized needle and allowed to discharge their watery contents before the above remedies are applied.
In burns severe enough to destroy the skin, disinfection of the open wound with weak carbolic acid or hydrogen peroxide is very necessary. After this has been done, a soft cloth soaked in a solution of linseed oil and limewater should be applied and the whole bandaged. In such a case, it is important not to use cotton batting, since this sticks to the rough surface and causes pain when removed.