Get out the flip flops and sun cream, it’s finally summer. The blessed season of holidays, baths and aperitifs, which will delight the Julians and then the Augustinians (not to mention the “Juniists” and the “Septembers”).
A privileged moment to let go and savor la dolce vita to the rhythm of barbecues, candlelight evenings or scooter rides. But between the glowing embers, the dancing flame and the scalding exhaust pipe, the risks of burns lurk. Thus, approximately 8,000 people are hospitalized in France each year for burns. And even if they are superficial and not very extensive, they can be extremely painful and require proper care. Between good reflexes and outlaw gestures, 20 minutes gives you the steps to follow.
record for dummies
There are three types of burns. “In the first degree, when your skin is very red, for example after a big sunburn,” describes Dr. Catherine Oliveres-Ghouti, a dermatologist. In case of a burn from a heat source, when taking a dish out of the oven or if you touch the barbecue grill, for example, or the soleplate of the iron, it is generally a second degree burn. The skin is raised, blistered and very painful. Finally, there is the second-degree deep burn, continues the dermatologist, which can be done in summer, on a scooter or motorcycle, when you are dressed shorter and lighter, and you burn your leg against the hot exhaust pipe, the temperature of which can approach 500°C and fry your skin. There are also all the domestic accidents with burns caused by boiling water or oil”.
the good reflection
In any case, “the first reflex to have is to pass the burn for at least fifteen minutes under cold water (at about 15°C), to prevent the burn from deepening in the dermis”, prescribes Dr. Isabelle Rousseaux, dermatologist . On the other hand, if it is more extensive, if it is very important but one does not feel any pain, one goes to the hospital”.
When the burn is superficial, “red but without blisters, it is treated with a healing cream such as biafine, cicalfate, cicabio or bepanthene”, recommends Dr. Oliveres-Ghouti. If it is deeper, after passing it under water, it is gently dried by gently rubbing with a clean cloth, then a compress is applied to protect it. In case of blisters, I recommend treating the wound with “Ialuset Plus Cream”, a cream based on colloidal silver, to avoid superinfection. It is applied in a thick layer, which is covered with a compress and a bandage, to keep the wound clean, not exposed to air. And we repeat this treatment every day, taking care simply to clean with physiological serum that we will dry by gently rubbing with a compress. Hence the importance of having another good reflex by slipping these few products into your first aid kit”, emphasizes the dermatologist.
Fortunately, “in the case of a small superficial burn, the skin heals quite quickly, within a few days,” says Dr. Rousseaux. On the other hand, if it is more extensive, which is very important but one does not feel any pain, or if the wound heals poorly and seems to be infected, one consults immediately, ”he prescribes.
the false good idea
Put “butter”, “toothpaste”, “ice” or even “bleach” to soothe a burn: between the remedies of the grandmother, the good advice of the neighbor or the suggestions of our common friend on the Internet, the bad ideas to relieve a burn are legion. And you better not trust. “Above all, we avoid! Dr. Oliveres-Ghouti and Dr. Rousseaux insist together. The greatest risk of burns is infection. Therefore, putting a fatty substance or any other substance that is not sterile should be avoided. The same happens with bleach, an irritant, which, in addition to the burn from a heat source, can give rise to a chemical burn”. As for ice, it’s a good misconception that risks tenfold pain. “And if blisters appear, it is important not to puncture them, at the risk of having even more pain and superinfecting the wound,” says Dr. Oliveres-Ghouti.
Also, if honey is touted for its healing and antibacterial properties, smearing your wound with the jar you dip your licked teaspoon into each morning isn’t the best reflex. But if you want this natural treatment, opt for an official honey, and after consulting a health professional.
And as soon as the wound has healed, “especially in the height of summer, we don’t expose it to the sun,” adds Dr. Rousseaux. Otherwise, you risk post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation of the skin, an irreversible dark spot. So if you’re out in the sun, cover your healed wound under clothing or with a good layer of sunscreen.
happened to them
Every year, as soon as the good weather returns, Hamid and his family adopt their summer habits. “We have dinner on the terrace, which is lit by candles when night falls,” says the father of the family. That’s what we did one night last summer. When I got up the next day, I saw that a jar candle had been burning all night and I wanted to blow it out, he recalls. But I blew too hard and the hot wax from the bottom of the pot splashed onto my face and forearms. The pain, sharp, was instantaneous. Luckily I was wearing my glasses because they protected my eyes.”
Hamid then “runs cold water over the burns for at least ten minutes. Then I put Biafine, I think. I was in pain, but I went to work. And chance did things well: a friend came and asked me what he had on his face. He told me: “don’t move, I’m calling my sister-in-law, she has the gift of cutting fire”. He called her in front of me, gave her my first and last name, then he took a picture of her and sent it to her. And she did her thing right there on the phone. Pain still throbbed through me, and her skin was bright pink. And a few minutes later, I no longer felt any painful sensations. From then on, my burns did not blister, the wounds healed very quickly, in a few days, and I did not leave any traces on the skin. I had heard of firewalls before but wasn’t sure what to do with them. You have to live it to take the measure of this gift, which works, even if doctors don’t know how to explain it “
“It is true, confirms Dr. Oliveres-Ghouti. No study has shown either the effectiveness or the mechanism of action of firewalls. But many patient testimonials report its benefits. In addition, hospitals use them to care for patients who were burned during a domestic accident or after radiotherapy treatment, or who suffer from shingles. We don’t know if it’s a placebo effect, and it doesn’t work for everyone. But if you know one, I see no harm in giving it a try. After having first adopted the correct gestures to stop the burn! »
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