Burns & Scalds

Burns are caused by heat, friction, or chemicals (see Chemical Burns); scalds are caused by hot liquids. If severe, either may affect the whole body, not just the burnt or scalded part. The main dangers from large burns are fluid loss leading to Shock, and infection. Deep burns are less painful than superficial ones; this is because in deep burns the nerves have been destroyed. Any burn bigger than the palm of the hand needs urgent medical attention.

This is what you should do to help someone who has been burned in a fire.

  1. Prevent further damage by removing the cause of the burn, or pulling the casualty clear of the fire, taking great care not to get burned yourself. If someone is on fire, push him or her to the ground and smother the flames with a rug, heavy coat, curtains, or any heavy fabric that happens to be nearby, but take great care not to burn your hands in the process. Contact Emergency Medical Services at the first opportunity
  2. Having removed the casualty from danger, immerse any burnt areas, provided the skin is not broken, in cold water for at least 10 minutes, or until the pain dies down. Hypericum and Calendula mother tinctures added to the water (20 drops of each per litre [2 pints] of water) enhance its pain-relieving effect. Cooling also reduces the severity of the burn, and in the case of chemical burns washes off the chemical and dilutes any that is left. Remove rings, bracelets, and any other jewellery from burnt areas - they will be difficult to remove once the skin swells. If there is burnt clothing sticking to the skin, leave it; immerse skin and clothing in cold water.
  3. Prevent infection: apply non-fluffy, clean dressings. Do not use cotton wool, lint, or adhesive tape. If there is burnt clothing sticking to the skin, leave it - it will have been sterilised by the heat; put the dressing over it. If the area of burnt skin is extensive, cover it with lots of small dressings; this makes them easier to remove in hospital later.
  4. Do not burst blisters or apply any lotions, greases or antiseptics. Be careful not to breathe or cough over the burnt area and do not touch it. You should not handle a burn victim more than is absolutely necessary. Do Not attempt to remove any dressings.
  5. Minimise fluid loss. If the casualty is conscious, give frequent sips of water, especially if he or she is vomiting. Keep this up until you get to hospital. Fluid loss into the tissues may cause a person suffering from severe burns to go into Shock; BE ALERT FOR THIS.

Specific remedies to be given every 15 minutes as soon as burn or scald has been cooled and emergency help has been summoned

  • Arnica 30c (3 doses only) followed by Cantharis 30c (up to 6 doses)
  • If the burn continues to sting Urtica 30c (up to 6 doses)

Specific remedies to be given every 4 hours for up to 10 doses

  • Where burns are second degree burns, looking like ulcers Kali bichrom. 30c
  • If burns become infected Hepar sulph 30c and clean with Hypericum and Calendula solution

Recovery from burns can be helped by taking 1 gm of Vitamin C every hour. If burn scars remain painful, take Causticum 6c four times a day for up to 7 days.

Sunburn and superficial burns can be soothed by applying Aloe Vera gel or Urtica urens ointment. Excessive blistering due to sunburn may need medical attention. Sol 30c can be taken every 4 hours as a preventative, especially in people sensitive to sunlight. Also 4-hourly for sunburn, for up to 10 doses.

Go Back Back to Ailments & Diseases

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Ailment & Diseases

  Chemical Burns
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  Hepar sulph.
  Kali bichrom.
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Other Treatments

  Hypericum and Calendula mother tincture
  Hypericum and Calendula solution
  Aloe Vera gel
  Urtica urens ointment
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  Vitamin C

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