Thermal burns are burns caused exposure to steam, hot liquids, hot metals or open flames. Steam burns usually occur in the kitchen when an individual lifts a lid from a pot of boiling liquid. Steam burns can be considered as minor injuries but can become severe.
Steam burns can be caused by close exposure to a steam cooker or a pot of boiling water. The steam that comes of a scorching or steaming substance forms a burn and the grade of injury will depend on the harshness of the burn sustained. It is vital to manage steam burn properly in order to prevent scarring or making the condition worse.
Treatment and home remedies of steam burns
- The affected person should stay calm, especially when far from hospitals and health clinics.
- Run cold water over the affected area if there is no break in the skin. The affected area such as the hands can also be immersed in a cold water bath for 5 minutes. Avoid putting ice in the bath since extreme cold can cause severe damage.
- Take over-the-counter pain medications such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Apply an herbal cooling lotion over the affected areas of the body such as aloe vera gel which offers an effective cooling effect for minor burns.
- Do not rinse the affected area since it will cause pain instead of reducing the pain in the area.
- Apply honey over the affected area of the body and cover it using a flexible wrap and seal the area using gauze and leave in place at least for two days. After two days, open the wrapped area and pour again another layer of honey. Avoid rinsing the area since rinsing the area will make it susceptible to infection.
- Provide a tablespoon of honey to the affected person at least three times a day in order to boost the immune system. Honey has antibacterial properties that help in preventing possible infections as well as preventing deep scarring.
- If it is a mild burn or first degree burn, apply an antibiotic ointment and cover it up using light and non-adhesive gauze. If the burn is severe, avoid letting the clothes or gauze stick to the affected area.
- Avoid popping the blisters caused by the burns. When healing from a burn injury, the worst thing to do is pop it open but it can cause another infection if not carefully done. Keep the injury clean at all times and change the dressing several times in a day.
Prevention of steam burns
- When checking on what is being cooked, take the lids off easily and keep the face far as the cooking ware as possible in order to avoid inhaling the steam.
- Keep children away from the cooking area while cooking.
- Use dry pot holders and mitts at all times when cooking.
- The temperature should be set to 120 degrees or less when boiling water.