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How to Treat a Burn Blister
There are different degrees of burn depending on the layers of the skin damaged. Epidermis or the top layer of the skin is affected in a first-degree burn resulting in pain, swelling and redness. A second-degree burn affects the dermis or the second layer of the skin and results in the formation of a burn blister.
You should get medical treatment if more than 3 inches of your skin area is burned or if your face, hands, genitals, buttocks or a large joint is burned.
Otherwise, you can treat it as a minor form of burn. A burn blister can leave a scar; however, by taking appropriate care and treatment you can reduce the chances.
1. For Closed-Burned Blisters
Step 1: Immediately after you have sustained a burn; put the affected area in running cold water for approximately three to four minutes. Take care to keep the water flow gentle because the wounded skin may damage further from the pressure of gushing water.
Step 2: Next wash the closed-burn blister gently using water and an antibacterial soap. Do not scrub the area as it can irritate the damaged skin and may rupture the burn blister. After washing, air dry the area or lightly pat it dry using sterile gauze so as to prevent bacterial contamination.
Step 3: Cover the burn blister with an antibiotic ointment such as Bacitracin or Neosporin. Apply enough quantity so as to keep the area moist in a bandage to promote quicker healing. Cover the burn blister with a porous adhesive bandage.
Step 4: Bandage should be changed either after 24 hours or after it becomes dirty or wet. Apply a fresh dressing after applying more antibacterial ointment. Follow this routine daily.
Step 5: In case the pain becomes unbearable, you can drain the blister and relieve the associated pain and discomfort. However, burn blister should be allowed to heal for a few days before draining it. To drain the blister, wash the burn blister with water and soap after removing the bandage. Lightly swab the blister with sterile gauze dipped in alcohol. Take a small sewing needle, sterilize it with alcohol and slightly puncture the edge of the burn blister. After the fluid drains out, clean the area, reapply anti bacterial ointment and cover with a bandage.
Step 6: Mayo Clinic. Com suggests cutting away dead skin from the burn blister usually after 3-4 days. Sterilize small grooming scissors by dipping them in alcohol and make an incision. You can remove the bandage once the new pink skin is visible under the dead skin.
2. For Open-Burned Blisters
Step 1: Open burned blisters can easily get infected; hence they should be covered with antibiotic ointments including Neosporin. Aloe-based gels can also be used as they also kill the bacteria and prevent infection of the burn blister.
Step 2: After applying the ointment, gently and loosely cover the area with sterile gauze to prevent bacterial infection. To quicken the healing process, do not peek into or uncover the bandage for at least 24 hours after you have applied ointment and bandage.
Step 3: When you want to remove the bandage, you have to first soak it in warm water so as to avoid it from sticking to the open burned blister wound.
Step 4: After removing the bandage, reapply antibiotic ointment and cover with a sterile gauze or bandage. Note for the development of any signs of infection in the wound.
How to Treat Second-Degree Burns
Many second degree burns require simple home treatment for healing and preventing scar formation.
1. Rinse the Burn
Rinse the burn with cool water for at least 15-30 minutes or until the pain stops. The temperature of the skin is lowered by cool water, thereby preventing further damage. You can either place the burned part such as your arms, fingers, and hands etc. in a tub of cool water or put cool compresses on the affected area. Avoid putting ice or ice water on the affected area as it may further damage the skin. Remove jewelry, rings etc. that may become tight in case swelling occurs.
2. Clean the Burn
Take care to wash your hands before touching the burn. Care should be taken to not touch burns with dirty hands as this increase the chances of infection. Avoid pricking or breaking the burn blisters. Using mild soap and water clean the affected area. Pat dry gently using a soft and clean cloth or gauze. Apply an antibiotic ointment such as Bacitracin or Polysporin. Applying butter or any type of sprays on burns should be avoided as by this the heat is trapped inside a burn.
3. Bandage the Burn
You can avoid using a bandage if the burn blisters have not broken open. However, open burn blisters may get dirty and infected; hence, a bandage is required to cover them. Change the bandage at least after 24 hours or anytime it gets wet or dirty. For removing the bandage you may have to soak it in warm water. You can apply a nonstick dressing in case it is available. Do not put pressure on the wound while applying bandage. Avoid taping a bandage as it can lead to swelling. Take care to follow the instructions mentioned on the package of the bandage. In case the burn is situated on any of your limb, it is recommended to keep that limb raised during the initial 24-48 hours to reduce the development of swelling.