The medical community has made great strides towards addressing the treatment of burns. In 1950, there were not even 10 hospitals in the United States which specialized in burn injuries. Today there are at least 200.
Burns are the second leading cause of accidental death in the United States. However, studies show that at least 50% of all burn accidents are preventable. According to the Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation, there are 2.4 million burn injuries in the U.S. every year. Of these, 650,000 receive medical treatment, and 75,000 are hospitalized. 20,000 victims have major burns covering more than a quarter of their body. Each year, between 8,000 and 12,000 burn victims die and a million sustain permanent disabilities.
Children under the age of two are especially likely to suffer from accidental burns. The most common location of a burn accident is the kitchen, followed by the bathroom for children. For people ages 5 to 74, the majority are injured in the outdoors. For those over the age of 74, they are most likely to sustain a burn from the kitchen.
Burns are one of the most expensive injuries to treat. If a burn covers 20% of the body, it will cost $200,000 for initial physician and hospital fees. In addition, there will be costs for readmission, reconstruction, and rehabilitation.
Household Burn Remedies
While some burns are too severe to ignore professional medical treatment, minor burns can often be treated with items found in your own home. When treating burns, one of the most important things to remember is that speed matters—your cells continue to burn even after you have removed your skin from the source of the burn. Here are some things you can usually find in your own home that will help you treat your burns quickly and effectively.
Milk works great on minor burns, and the higher the milk’s fat content, the more effective it is, since fat is soothing. You can either soak your burn in milk for 15 minutes, or you can apply a milk-soaked towel to the burn site.
Normal hemorrhoid treatment cream can help trim 3 days off the normal recovery time for minor burns. Simply put a little Preparation H on the burn site and cover with a bandage.
While instinctively you might want to put the coldest water available on your burn, you should know that cold water can do almost as much damage as your burn itself, since it too kills cells. Instead, you should use cool water as it will provide relief without damaging cells.
Aloe is great not only for sunburns, but for any type of burns. Simply cut one of the leaves off this naturally soothing plant and apply to the burn zone to relieve pain a few days after your burn.
Vitamins A, C, and E have all been shown to help reduce the time it takes for burns to heal. Not only can you see benefits by consuming foods high in these vitamins, but you can also apply Vitamin E directly to the burn to help reduce scarring.