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What is the best way to treat a burn?

Ninety-nine percent of burns that occur in the kitchen are first-degree burns and usually require only home treatment. A first-degree burn is slightly red or discolored and causes only mild swelling and pain. If the burn is more severe that this, or if it covers an extensive area of the body, call a doctor or emergency medical center.

The best way to treat a first-degree burn is to cool the burned area quickly by lightly pressing an ice cube against it. This step minimizes the extent of cellular damage. Next, place several ice cubes in a clean plastic storage bag and gently apply it to the burned skin. As soon as the ice begins to feel unbearably cold, remove the bag. If the pain returns, place the ice-cube bag over the burned area. Keep repeating until the pain subsides (but not to the point where you risk frostbite).

If the burn covers a wide or hard-to-reach area soak the part affected in a suitable-size vessel or sink of water with plenty of ice cubes. The ice-cube treatment is superior to the old-fashioned rub-with-butter method because ice cubes numb the pain. Moreover, butter can foster infection.

** Kitchen Tips **

13:13:50 on 03/17/08 by Webmaster - Questions and Answers -