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View Full Version : Burns - how to treat



BobL
24th February 2007, 12:26 AM
Last night while cleaning up a bit of angle iron on the belt sander I grabbed a section of the angle that was still very hot. Although I dropped the angle and immediately plunged my hand into some water I could tell from the extent of the pain and the burnt skin smell, that I was about to get a big burn blister on the top of my middle finger.

I then remembered what SWMBO had told me about cooling a burn with iced water for as long as you can stand it. So I went the the beer fridge and grabbed a handful of ice dust from the freezer and made a slushy ice ball and sqeezed it with the other hand into a sort of an ice cast around my burnt finger. When this cast had almost melted away I made another cast and then another 2. By then my finger was quite numb from the cold and I could feel no burn pain. All up my finger was under ice for about 20 minutes. When it warmed up there was a bit of pain for a while, the burned skin was smooth and looked on the yellow side but the burn pain subsided significantly in about a hour.

I am amazed how it did not form a blister and am now 24 hours later typing with this smooth skin slightly yellow finger.

martrix
24th February 2007, 12:42 AM
ouch!
I did a similar thing when I was welding up my sawmill.:- Just finished welding the T-clamping sections, loosened up the vice and grabbed the stinking hot piece with my thumb and fore finger:o :C . Straight under running water for 10 minutes, and no blister. Ive had a 2nd degree burn on my foot once from of all things nuclear, hot VLine coffee...burns are not fun.:no:

As far as I know, the best immediate treatment for burns is cool running water for at least 10 minutes. Treatment after that depends on the severity.

soundman
24th February 2007, 09:08 PM
Ice isn't considered the go these days, because you can add frostbite to the burn injury:( . cool water is still considered to be pretty damn good.

On the other hand there is a product called "Burnaid" by all accounts it is fabulous stuff.
My first aid supplier put me onto it when I was stocking up a while ago.

It is a clear water bassed gell, come in a tube or sachet.

From all reports and I've seen a number of medical articles on it, the injury reduction and pain relief performance is pretty damn good.
Aparantly it has been tested against other conventional treatments and come out on top.

I've only had to try it once on a small " nusance" burn but I have to say the pain relief was pretty good and the burn healed up well.
I have a tube in each first aid kit.... but for day to day use the sachets are the go because the remain sealed and sterile.... no refrigeration required.

the other thing is you can keep a few sachets in hand places like the kitchen draw or with the welding gear.

you will probaly have to go to a specialist first aid supplier for it.

cheers

Harry72
24th February 2007, 09:24 PM
If your welding why no welding gloves?

martrix
24th February 2007, 10:00 PM
If your welding why no welding gloves?
For me, laziness. I generally only use gloves when welding in a position where any stray spatter is likely to fall on me. With decent technique and nice clean metal, there is not much spatter any way with my MIG.

RufflyRustic
25th February 2007, 12:43 AM
I haven't tried the remedy you recommend Soundman, but my personal favourite is pure Aloe Vera Gel.

It may not work as well, but it does indeed work. I burnt my finger on the iron one morning and it blistered. I kept putting the gel on it during the day, whenever it started hurting. That evening, I realised it had stopped hurting and the blister had practically disappeared.

Cheers
Wendy

bsrlee
25th February 2007, 01:41 AM
The regular advised treatment for burns is, as Soundman says, immediate immersion in cold water - any cold water will do, you can always nuke the burn site with antiseptic later, but the cold water stops the residual heat in the injury keeping the cooking going - if you have an electric stove you would be familiar with this.

I have found that if the temperature of the offending article is too hot - yellow to bright red heat in iron - the burn won't blister - I'm guessing the heat has destroyed the local blood vessels that would otherwise supply the liquid to form the blister - you get a localised yellowy hard lump that peels or flakes off in a few days leaving a fresh scar underneath. I've had this happen when blacksmithing and welding (MIG wire going thru a tiny hole in the glove & into finger :o ).

BobL
25th February 2007, 01:16 PM
If your welding why no welding gloves?

I wasn't welding I was using a belt sander, the cleaning up was for some medium level surface rust. :D I also reckon and have heard it's more dangerous to use gloves around a belt sander than not.

The piece of angle was relatively small ~60 mm long x 25 square x 1.6 mm and I was holding it with a pair of pliers but obviously not firmly enough and I lost hold of it. When ever I have done this in the past the sander shoots the piece across the shed and into my saw rack but this time the angle somehow got jammed between the belt and the sander casing with the V end facing outwards. By the time I turned the sander off the angle was pretty hot and well and truly jammed. I couldn't move the angle from the top so I foolishly stuck a finger down the inner angle and hoiked back - BURN!!!!!

Another foolish thing was I was still holding the pliers in my other hand!!

Afterwards when I told SWMBO about the success of the ice, she told me off firstly for being an idiot and (being a trained safety first officer ) because she said that cool running water, not ice, was now the go!:doh: - can't win - not often enough anyway.

martrix
25th February 2007, 02:13 PM
Another foolish thing was I was still holding the pliers in my other hand!!



:D Exactly what I did, picked up the scorching steel with my fingers whilst I had a perfectly good pair of pliers in the other hand:rolleyes: .I think it was at the end of the day.,

Just George
25th February 2007, 03:59 PM
Step 1.
Boil some tea(black) and let it cool.

Step 2.
Mix it 50/50 with Metho.

Step 3.
Put it into a squeeze bottle like a dish washing liquid bottle, something that's easy to open a SQUEEZE.

Step 4.
Mark on the bottle what it is and what it's for.



It's good for burns and bites. It takes away the itchiness and irritation or bites and helps to stop the blistering of burns.


My father used to be in the Rural Bush Fire Brigade years ago, after a bush fire he and another man were checking out a burnt out area when all of a sudden the other man stepped into a burnt out log that was in the ground which would've led to third degree burns and time in hospital and possibly skins grafts etc. My father very liberally splashed the Tea and Metho mix to the affected areas which prevented the horrific burns.


My mother is a retired teacher, when a child came running from the play ground screaming after being bitten by an ant, she'd apply the Tea and
Metho which soothed the area.


This has been a family remedy for many years, I have some in my workshop for when I weld or use anything hot. In the case of sunburn, it's too late as the damage is done.

You need to apply this quickly.



50% cold Tea - 50% METHO.

BobL
25th February 2007, 04:18 PM
Step 1.
Boil some tea(black) and let it cool.

Step 2.
Mix it 50/50 with Metho.

Step 3.
Put it into a squeeze bottle like a dish washing liquid bottle, something that's easy to open a SQUEEZE.

Step 4.
Mark on the bottle what it is and what it's for.

50% cold Tea - 50% METHO.

Humm, . . . a brew like that might be a bit tempting for something else :oo: :oo: :oo:

I'm not sure I'd like to be applying a 50% metho solution if broken skin was involved.:C

The important thing about the "cool water for 20 minutes" treatment is the continual removal of burn heat and any extra body heat. Just dabbing something on a burn will give a few seconds or minutes of relief but then it cannot continually remove heat for an extended time. I investigated the ice versus water treatment and as well as a possible frostbite burn, the body can react to extreme cold by constricting blood vessels where as what is needed is increased blood flow to aid treatment. However, increased blood flow means increased heat - this is where cool running water is best - it promotes blood flow but removes the heat.

BTW We use a similar tea and metho (1 cup really strong tea and 1/2 cup metho in a bucket of water) recipe to wash our jarrah floor boards, the tannin kills the dust mites and the metho helps it dry quickly.

witch1
25th February 2007, 04:29 PM
cold running water is the latest word on immediate burn treatment as has been previously stated several times the idea is to cool the area of the burn as quickly as possible, keeping the water running constantly will remove the maximum amount of heat and neutralise the burn more rapidly than any type of cream or other unguents, save them for later.
don't forget to put a bucket under tap to catch the run off, you can use it to water the aspidastras.
regards
the ancient marathoner

Cabbie
26th February 2007, 12:30 AM
Like everyone else said cold water is the go but after that you should wrap some gladwrap around it which will stop any nasties getting in and also aid in the healing process. :)

soundman
27th February 2007, 11:32 AM
We're starting to get into some " interesting" teritory here. We have to be very carefull about what sort of burn and how big and the various implications of the treatments.

I do not think any medical person would recomend applying a commercial solvent to an open injury site these days. Metholated spirit is a toxic solvent, applying it to an area that has an increased absorbency is a problem.
Even medical isopropyl is not recomended for application to open wounds, broken or damaged skin....its primary use is for cleaning healty skin prior to procedures or for cleaning healthy skin arround wounds.

Cold tea probaly works about as well as cold water..... the main benifit is that it has been boiled.

which brings me to the next matter

CLEAN WATER.....one of the most problematic complications from burns is infection....this may not bee all that serious on small burns but on large burns it can be life threatening.
The water needs to be clean.... as clean as possible.

Clean cool water is still the "agreed" universal immediate treatment for burns of all types and sizes.

The reason for the use of gell type dressings either as a primary or following treatment for burns is that they are sterile, inhibit infection and exclude air (which can both contaminate the wound and cause pain), they also moisturise the injury.
the other big advantage of the proper commercial preparations is that the are usefull and effective where CLEAN water isn't available.

Oily or fatty preparations should not be used as they are problematic to remove and in some situations worsen the damage and inhibit healing.

Alo vera is very effective for smal burns, but you need to make sure you get the clear gell from inside the leaf and not the yellow stuff that comes out of the skin of the leaf.
It is best to peel back the skin of the leaf revealing a clear gell material.
alo vera works because it ie a clear water bassed gell that is probaly pretty close to sterile if the plant is healthy.

Yess the ambulance use glad wrap on larger burns but it is not practical on the sort of burn we should be self treating in normal curcumstances.

Any burn bigger than a 20 cent piece or that breaks the skin should be treated by a doctor without delay.

It is my opinion that anybody working arround machinery, tools or an industrial situation should get some formal first aid training and have a properly stocked "modern" first aid kit on hand.
Remember it will probaly be you this stuff will be used on:o

There are a number of realy good first aid products around these days, but you will need to speak to a good first aid supplier to find out about them

cheers

celeste
27th February 2007, 06:16 PM
Hi all

My remedy, I was told this when I was a kid and worked in a fish & chip shop, best thing for oil burns and light burns up to hand size, no broken skin.

Good old tooth paste, you know how it makes your mouth frosty, well it takes the heat out of the burn quickly and therefore stops it cooking any further and no risk of frost bite.:2tsup:

Celeste

soundman
28th February 2007, 11:46 AM
I'd run a mile from the toothpate one.

Toothpaste causes minor pain and damage to soft healty skin.

There are a lot of things, particulary remidies of the past that relieve the pain in the short term but cause problems with following treatments, cause further damage or inhibit healing.

There has been a lot of work done on this....almost without exception it comes back to lots of cool clear water as the primary treatment.

One of the messages that all first aid trainers hammer is not to use most of the folk remidies and there are heaps of them.

particulary targeted as bad are

anything with agressive chemicals,
solvents,
aromatics such as mint or wintergreen
anything with suspended solids
anything with persistent oils or fats
anything that can leave residue in the injury or that is hard to clean off with water alone

the only alternative treatment that holds any respect at all is aloe vera.



cheers

Toolin Around
28th February 2007, 01:54 PM
Step 1.
Boil some tea(black) and let it cool.

Step 2.
Mix it 50/50 with Metho.

Step 3.
Put it into a squeeze bottle like a dish washing liquid bottle, something that's easy to open a SQUEEZE.

Step 4.
Mark on the bottle what it is and what it's for.



It's good for burns and bites. It takes away the itchiness and irritation or bites and helps to stop the blistering of burns.


My father used to be in the Rural Bush Fire Brigade years ago, after a bush fire he and another man were checking out a burnt out area when all of a sudden the other man stepped into a burnt out log that was in the ground which would've led to third degree burns and time in hospital and possibly skins grafts etc. My father very liberally splashed the Tea and Metho mix to the affected areas which prevented the horrific burns.


My mother is a retired teacher, when a child came running from the play ground screaming after being bitten by an ant, she'd apply the Tea and
Metho which soothed the area.


This has been a family remedy for many years, I have some in my workshop for when I weld or use anything hot. In the case of sunburn, it's too late as the damage is done.

You need to apply this quickly.



50% cold Tea - 50% METHO.

Considereing metho (metho is a biocide) does more damage to live tissue (even more to already damaged tissue) than good I think I'll pass on the remedy, interesting though.

stevebaby
19th May 2007, 01:37 AM
http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2001/november/Molan/honey-as-topical-agent.html Honey as a topical antibacterial agent for treatment of infected wounds Honey works better than any antibiotic I've ever tried and it's cheaper. When was the last time you ever saw any sort of mould or fungus growing in a honey jar, or ever had honey go off due to bacterial infection? Never.The medi-honey sold by chemists is expensive and unnecessary...a dab of ordinary honey from the pantry and a sterile dressing are fine. A workmate had a large ulcer on his leg from a scratch and contamination from raw sewage in sea-water. The ulcer had been there for 5 years and wouldn't respond to any antibiotics. He was in danger of losing the leg until his doctor s started to apply honey to it, It cleared up in a couple of months. Amazing stuff. Ask your doctor if you don't believe me.

Binary
19th May 2007, 08:31 AM
stevebaby,
The way I understand it is the medi-honey is better as the processed stuff has more of the good stuff killed off?

I have used the medical (18+) stuff a number of times now with great results. I was a bit skeptical with my first application so I only used it on 1/2 the red area and from memory within ?12? hours there was noticable results :). My Dad swears by the normal honey (he has not tried the medical stuff).

With burns go the cold running/ice water to start with then maybe the honey if its going to have healing problems.

soundman
20th May 2007, 12:57 AM
Honey won't provide any immediate cooling effect, an important part of first aid for burns.

Again...For immediate first aid clean COOl running water is the universaly proven and recomended treatment.
Ice is specificaly NOT recomended as it can cause further damage... thermal shock and frostbite to tissue that is highly vunerable and has greatly impared sense of heat and cold.

Honey is probaly a viable secobdary treatment for burns.

Aparantly most honey isn't processed to any great extent, the difference in the medi honey is the types of plants the honey comes from.
It is very much more potent in the "good things" that are in all honey.
And of course there will be some specific quality controll measures associated with being a medical product.

cheers

Chesand
20th May 2007, 08:20 AM
If the burn is serious off to the doctor for SSD cream - magic results in healing.
Of course cool running water first and if it blisters do NOT deliberately break the blister as that is nature's protection against infection