How To Treat Minor Facial Burn At Home
Facial burns refer to any injury caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation, or friction on the face. The severity of these burns can vary, ranging from minor first-degree burns affecting the top layer of the skin to severe third-degree burns injuring deep layers of skin and tissue.
While severe burns require immediate medical attention, minor facial burns can often be treated at home using the correct methods and precautions. However, minor facial burns can be painful and alarming, even if they’re not severe. Not administering immediate and proper care to them can make them worse.
Here’s how to properly treat minor facial burns at home
Take Safety Precautions
Before approaching the victim, be sure the area is safe from further harm. Safety precautions prevent further damage, reduce potential complications, and ensure the swift recovery of the victim.
Here’s how you do it:
- If the burning material is still in contact with the skin, remove it. In such cases, quickly douse the area with cool water to dislodge it without pulling on the skin.
- If it’s a chemical burn from dry powder, brush it off before flushing out any remaining particles to prevent further skin harm from residual chemicals.
- For electrical burns, the source must be shut off before treatment begins to prevent potential or further electrocution.
- Finally, put out any flames and ensure the room is clear of smoke to avoid additional inhalation injuries and ensure a safe environment for both the victim and the rescuer.
Assess Burn Severity
Always assess how severe the burn is. This is important to determine the appropriate course of action. Treating a burn without assessing its severity can lead to various complications and potentially worsen the situation.
For example, if the burn is more severe than initially presumed, home treatment may be inadequate, delaying proper medical care and escalating the risk of infection, prolonged healing time, and severe scarring. On the other hand, treating a minor burn as a severe one could lead to unnecessary medical interventions.
Key Characteristics of Minor Facial Burns
To determine minor facial burns, be familiar with the following characteristics:
Redness – The burned area will appear red, similar to a sunburn.
Pain – Minor burns can be painful but usually subside within a few days.
Swelling – Some swelling may be present, but it should be minimal.
Size – A minor facial burn should be no larger than a person’s palm.
If the burn isn’t how it’s described above, seek medical attention immediately, especially if it’s way bigger than your palm and appears charred black, dry, or leathery. Additionally, burns in children and the elderly should be evaluated by a healthcare professional due to their delicate skin, which heightens the risk of complications.
Do I Need to Bring The Source of Burn?
It’s not typically necessary to bring the source of the burn when seeking medical treatment. However, if the burn is a result of chemical exposure, it can be helpful to bring the chemical container or a clear photo of the label—only if it’s safe to do so. This allows medical professionals to understand the nature of the chemical involved and thereby tailor the treatment appropriately.
More importantly, ensure to bring your medical insurance with you. This is particularly crucial if the burn is severe and situated on the face, which may need further care with a dermatologist. If unsure of your insurance’s coverage, simply search if there is dermatologist covered under your insurance online.
Apply First Aid For Minor Burns
The widely recommended practice is to use cool (not cold) water to bathe the burn area gently. For at least 10-15 minutes, allow a steady stream of lukewarm water to flow over the affected skin, or submerge the burned face in a bowl filled with water. This helps to stop the burning process and cools the skin.
After cooling, gently cleanse the burn area with mild soap and water to remove any debris and prevent infection. Be cautious not to pop any blisters that may form because they provide a natural barrier against infection.
Once the area is clean and dry, apply an antibiotic ointment. Opt for a cooling gel or an over-the-counter burn ointment to help soothe the burn and provide a protective layer over the skin. Then, cover the burn with a non-stick sterile gauze to protect it from further injury and contamination. Make sure to change the dressing daily or whenever it becomes wet or dirty.
Keep the burn moisturized as well. This can prevent skin dryness and peeling, improve healing, and reduce the risk of scarring. Opt for a water-based, fragrance-free, hypoallergenic lotion or cream. Alternatively, use aloe vera gel for a more natural option.
During the healing process, avoid anything that may irritate the skin further, including makeup and specific products. Additionally, keep the burn covered and use sunscreen on the affected area, as sun exposure can delay healing and increase the risk of scarring.
For pain relief, pain medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen are typically recommended. They aren’t only effective in alleviating pain but also in reducing inflammation. However, use them as directed and only if there are no contraindications with other medications or health conditions.
Should your condition worsen or you notice signs of infection, seek immediate medical attention. Remember, this advice is only for minor burns. Severe burns need to be addressed by a professional.
Treating a minor facial burn at home is a skill everyone should master. Understanding the type of burn, taking swift and appropriate action, and knowing the limits of home care will alleviate immediate discomfort, help the skin recover fully, and prevent long-term issues.