First Aid for Hot Water Burns

Burns caused by hot water are very common. If you think your burn is serious, see a doctor. If not, read below and we'll explain how to treat it.

Hot water burns are very common.

You’re in the kitchen making dinner or a nice cup of tea. Maybe you turn on the faucet and the water comes out much hotter than you expected. What do you do next?

Today, we’ll explain what the first aid procedures are for this injury.

Types of burns

Before deciding on a treatment for your burn, you should know that there are three different degrees:

First degree

These affect the outer or superficial layer of skin. The symptoms include redness, swelling, and a little pain.

The area peels off within 7 days and is back to normal within two weeks.

Want to learn more? The 8 Best Oils to Keep Your Skin Young and Healthy

Second degree

This one is more serious because the second layer of skin is burned, too. It causes blisters and inflammation. The pain is worse.

The blisters break on their own in a week. Complete healing happens at three weeks and sometimes the skin ends up a little lighter or darker after scarring.

Third degree

This is the most severe and is an emergency that requires immediate medical care. The burn goes through all layers of skin and is extremely painful.


Burns caused by boiling water

These are very common burns in the home. A pot of boiling water on the stove can turn into a real danger or even a tragedy if there are kids around.

Small but serious burns caused by boiling water are not uncommon. You should always be careful and boil water on the burners farthest away from the edge whenever possible.

If boiling water just splashes you or has very light contact with your skin, it will cause a bit of pain but will probably disappear right away. A good idea to stop the burning is to run cold water over it, whether in a container or under the faucet, for at least 5 minutes to cool the area.

If the burn is a little more serious, do the same thing but for longer. For second degree burns, run under cold water for at least 15 minutes.

The treatment depends on the area of the body that has been burned. For example, you can cover the area with a wet cloth or apply some ice in a plastic bag (never directly on the skin).

Treatment for skin burns

While you’re cooling the injury, take the time to evaluate the damage.

If the pain doesn’t go away after a few minutes and you realize the red area has grown or blisters are forming, consider going to the emergency room.

Otherwise, if the symptoms start to go away, you can continue with your treatment at home.

Take some gauze and moisten it with water. Wrap the affected area and let it be for 30 minutes to an hour. If needed, change the dressing. This will keep the burn from contact with harmful surfaces and contaminants.

Aloe vera is one of the best remedies for superficial burns, whether they be from hot water, oil, or even the sun. No home should be without this plant. Just break a stalk horizontally and extract the gel from inside.

The thick liquid that comes out has the power to hydrate your skin. Smooth onto the affected area and let sit until completely absorbed.

If you want, you can wrap it with sterile gauze, although it’s better to let the wound “breathe.”

Serious burns: when to go to the hospital

Let’s say a pot of boiling water falls onto you.

Your clothes may get stuck to your skin. Don’t try to remove them by yourself. Wet the area with cold water and immediately go to the emergency room. The doctors there will be in charge of properly removing the clothes so that further damage is not caused.

If the burn causes a blister, don’t pop it, as this can cause a more serious injury, scarring, and even infection. Bandage it during the day so that it does not burst, and leave it open to the air for a few minutes. But be careful because if the blister is large, we recommend seeing a doctor.

If the blister is very painful and causes pressure that doesn’t let you move the area normally, you can make a small opening to let the fluid out. However, make sure to disinfect whatever tool you use first.

Don’t forget to read: The 7 Best Natural Remedies for Reducing Scars

Steps for treating burns at home

Home treatment only works for small superficial burns up to second degree. For more serious burns, you should always see a doctor.

After applying cold water as first aid, we recommend that you:

  • Apply some Vaseline and covering the burn with sterile gauze.
  • Keep a bandage on during the first day without moving it too much.
  • Take a pain reliever (such as ibuprofen)
  • Change the bandage and ventilate in the morning.
  • Moisten the gauze before removing it so that it does not stick to the skin
  • After 7 days, clean it and remove dead skin using a gauze moistened with isotonic water. But don’t force it; the skin will come off by itself.

Principal image courtesy of wikiHow.com

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