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Treating a minor burn at home? Put down the butter!

by , 13 May 2013

Most people have suffered through sunburn at some point, which can be bad enough. Unfortunately, many people also suffer from more intense burns while cooking or from accidents... but there are many misconceptions on how best to treat a burn. That's why the news of young burn patients Pippie Kruger and now, Celiwe Maseko, have gripped the nation. Here's how to treat a burn.

Thanks to a house fire that broke out in his living room, a UK man has just been rushed to hospital for treatment of significant burns on about a third of his body, says BBC.
Five-year-old Celiwe Maseko, who had similar skin graft treatment to that of Pippie Kruger for her body burns, is recovering in hospital too, says eNCA.
This is an intense procedure where the patient is placed under heavy sedation and pieces of cloned skin are placed on the body in an advanced skin transplant procedure.
Thankfully not every burn needs to be treated in hospital, but you do need to know how to treat a burn properly so that you make the injury better, not worse.
For example, you need to continue to cool a burn for at least 20 minutes.
You can do so by letting cool running water flow over the burned area of skin for several minutes. 
But don’t be tempted to place ice on the burn to speed up the healing process, as ice can cause frostbite very quickly on a burn as the skin is already damaged, says FirstAid.About.
Stick to water – never apply butter, oil or ice to a burn!
Added to this, remember that you should never apply butter or any form of oil to a burn.
It may feel cool as it’s straight out of the refrigerator, but it’ll actually do more harm than good.
The reason? 
The oils will trap heat and make the burn deeper over time.
Not sure if you should treat the burn yourself or go to hospital?
It depends on the severity of the burn, Says eHow.
Explained: The difference between first degree, second degree and third degree burns
If you have a minor burn, you can treat it successfully by yourself at home – this ‘first degree’ type of burn usually affects just the top layer of skin, but often turns red and painful. 
A second degree burn goes deeper than this and usually forms a blister, with swollen skin and severe pain
With the most serious type of burn, which is a third degree burn, your skin will look white or charred. 
If you suspect it’s a third degree burn or if the burn covers a large area of skin, rather get to the doctor or hospital to ensure it’s treated properly.

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