We have all experienced a burn of some form or the other. Be they first, second or third degree burns they are all very painful and special care is needed in the effort to heal this injury as well as preventing wound contamination thus letting infections set in.

Most burns are caused by excessive heat or exposure to:

* sun - this can be a very painful burn but is not life threatening unless the patient gets sun-stoke and dehydration with it - this will need medical attention as soon as possible
* heated fluids
* chemicals
* electricity
* fire

Explaining the burn degrees:

1) First degree burns - these are generally caused by those little accidents that happen in or around the house [mainly surface burns - red skin and a mild pain], are non-threatening and pretty easy to care for.

2) Second degree burns - can also be caused by a accident around the house, these are generally a lot deeper than surface burns [causing swelling, blisters and may peel the skin]. First aid treatment can prevent further damage but medical attention is needed.

3) Third degree burns - the most severe of all burns due to the depth of the damage [all layers of skin, nerve and blood vessels involved], the patient does not experience initial pain with this burn and the skin has a white leathery or black charred appearance. Emergency treatment and hospitalization are top priority for these burn victims due to a high risk of fatalities.

A) Care of first degree burns

* reduce the temperature of the burn - immerse the area in chilled water if possible, pour chilled water over the area continuously if unable to immerse [do this for at least 15 - 30 minutes]

Then apply
* antibiotic ointment - to help prevent infection [we don't always have this available]

So use
* honey - apply this to the wound to assist with the prevention of infection and aid in the healing of the burn
* aloe vera - very good for a burn, break off a piece [or pieces depending on the size of the burn] of the succulent leaf and gently rub the sap onto the area
* lavender oil - very good healing properties

* papaya - this fruits enzymes will help remove dead cells from the wound during the healing process

* vitamin E - prevents scarring once wound has healed

Pain relief
Any over the counter pain killer can be taken for this

B) Care of second degree burns

Soak the burn in chilled water for at least 15 - 30 mins if the area is small, larger areas will need chilled water poured over them continuously for this period. This burn will need a antibiotic ointment, first aid burn cream or medicinal creams prescribed by your doctor. Cover with a gauze infused with a oil-based gel [telfa for example] and hold in place with dry gauze bandage or tape. Ensure you are up to date with your tetanus shots.

This dressing needs to be changed every day [make sure your hands are thoroughly cleansed], check the wound for infection [redness, swelling or pus] and ensure you do not break any of the blisters that might have formed. Exposure of a smallish burn to air/sunlight [about a hour a day where possible] will help with the healing process of the wound. Do not scratch [healing itches] the burn or expose the healed skin to excess sunlight [takes at least a year to be back to normal, so apply a sunscreen if you need to be exposed or prolonged periods].

It is always advisable to see your doctor for treatment for any of these 2nd degree burns [use your own discretion here - small ones are easy enough to keep healthy] this is so you can get the right locally applied medication, anti-inflammatory tablets and pain killers.

C) Care of third degree burns

You will realize the severity of this burn by the white leathery look or the black charred look [depending on the cause] of the skin. Do not attempt to remove any clothing or other bits from the burn - get them straight to a hospital for emergency treatment. The patient will not experience much pain when the burn first occurs, don't let this fool you into thinking it is not severe as this burn involves all the layers of the skin and nerve damage is present.


A burn is a very painful thing, and the severity can change over a few hours thus causing a first degree burn to turn into a second degree burn [third degree burns are already 3rd degree and the patient will not be at home but under the care of professionals]. Keep a eye on this as the skin is the bodies first line of defense, immediate treatment can prevent infection, further damage and scarring. The epidermis [first layer of skin] has the ability to repair itself but with the more severe burns this layers normal functions may never be restored, thus losing the ability to regenerate.

Remember to take or use any topical medication your doctor has prescribed [especially the anti-biotic] till complete or till the wound has healed.

Author's Bio: 

Candice is a full time author and loves to write about her interests. These include a variety of diets, be it for weight loss or for the benefit of ones health she puts pen to paper. She also loves shopping, bowling, beading, dabbles in the forex market and enjoys internet marketing. You can visit her at 22 Inch Rims to find the 22 Inch rims you have always wanted.