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Category: Accidents, Emergencies and Poisons
A Burn is caused by dry heat.
A Scald is caused by moist heat.
A superficial burn, upon a young child, that involves the third of the
body will almost certainly prove fatal, while a very deep burn, provided
it is localized, may not be so serious, unless important nerves and blood
vessels have been destroyed.
Burns may be divided into three degrees:
First degree are those burns that only affect the outer or superficial
layer of the skin, producing a redness with some small vesicles.
Second degree burns: These extend through the true skin and blisters
Third degree burns: This goes down underneath and involves the deeper
tissues. Charring and destruction of tissue takes place.
MOTHERS' REMEDIES. 1. Burns, Linseed Oil for. "Quick application of
linseed oil." The oil forms a coating and is very soothing.
2. Burns, Common Soda for. "There is nothing better than common baking
soda for burns and scalds; apply a thick coating of dry soda. Bind a cloth
over it, and keep on until the pain ceases, after which any good healing
salve will do."
3. "Apply crushed onion poultice; cover to keep out the air. This will
soon extract the heat and pain." Onions seem to possess many medicinal
properties. They are very soothing, and in a case of scalds keep out the
air and relieve the pain.
4. Burns, Molasses Takes Pain from. "Apply New Orleans molasses to the
burn and cover with flour. This forms a coating over the affected parts,
keeping the air from it, thereby relieving the burning. This is an
excellent remedy and one easily prepared."
5. Burns, Butter a Relief for. "Spread butter on the affected parts and
bandage well. This is one of the remedies our grandmothers used to use and
is a good one."
6. Burns, Oil of Peppermint Draws Fire Out of. "Apply oil of peppermint;
it will take the fire out almost immediately."
7. Burns, Sweet Oil and Cotton Batting Relieves. "Saturate cotton batting
in sweet oil and cover the burns and keep covered until the fire is out. I
had my hand burned with steam until the skin peeled off, and this remedy
relieved the smarting."
8. Burns, Vinegar Prevents Blistering from. "Vinegar applied every few
minutes will keep it from blistering." This is a remedy always at hand,
and will do just what it says.
MOTHERS' REMEDIES. 1. Scalds, Elder Berries Soothing for. "The flowers of
the black elder berries and the bark all possess valuable medicinal
properties. An ointment made by stirring the fresh flowers into melted
lard or vaselin and occasionally stirring it, will be found an excellent
remedy for scalds or burns." It is not only soothing, but forms a coating
thereby keeping the air out.
2. Scalds, Alum for Slight. "Put a teaspoonful of alum in a pint of
water, and bathe the parts frequently. Keep the parts well wet with this
solution which extracts the heat in a remarkable manner and soothes the
patient into a calm and refreshing sleep." This remedy is most always at
hand and will relieve if the case is not too severe.
3. Scalds, Scraped Potatoes will Relieve. " A few raw potatoes scraped or
grated and beaten in a bowl, then add a dram of laudanum; apply to the
affected parts as you would a poultice."
4. Scalds, Crackers and Slippery Elm as Poultice for. "Apply a poultice
of cracker and slippery elm, made of raspberry leaf tea. Guard against
taking cold." Use enough of the raspberry tea to make a soft mixture. This
is very soothing, and keeps the air from the scald which is one of the
essential things in order to get relief.
5. Scalds, Raisins' and Lard with Tobacco Helps.
"One pound Raisins, chopped.
One pound Lard.
Five cent package of Chewing Tobacco.
Mix all together and let this simmer about three hours slowly, strain it
and put in a jar."
6. Scalds, Sweet Oil Soothing for. "I know of nothing better than equal
parts of sweet oil and lime water." This is very good and should be
PHYSICIANS' TREATMENT for Superficial Bums. Exclude the air; protect and
treat the parts is the theory of treatment.
Superficial Burn. When the skin is not broken, bicarbonate of soda may be
sprinkled thick over the burn, then wrap the part in moist gauze, lint or
linen, and over this a layer of common cotton, and hold in place with a
bandage. Flour can be used in place of the soda. Oatmeal flour, rice
flour, etc., will do also. The objection to all powders is that the moist
gauze, etc., will make the flour form cakes and make removal painful and
difficult. Applications in liquid form are therefore better.
Liquid Forms. If the blisters are large, open them with a clean
(sterile-boiled) instrument (scissors or knife) and absorb the fluid with
a clean gauze. Then dissolve bicarbonate of soda in water--a saturated
solution. This term means as much soda as the water will dissolve. Then
gauze, lint or linen pads may be wrung out of this solution or the same
strength of boric acid solution and applied. Put over this a layer of
clean cotton and hold in place by a bandage or strip of adhesive plaster.
(Keep parts always moist). Baking soda will do about as well as
bicarbonate of soda.
Oil and ointments are also very beneficial. Spread the ointments or oil
over the burn thick and cover with lint or soft linen, and change
frequently to keep from smelling badly.
1. Carron oil made of equal parts of lime-water and linseed oil is good.
2. Carbolized oil or simple pure sweet oil is good.
3. Cosmoline, Vaselin, Pineoline (salves) are all good; they cover and
4. Cold cream is very good.
5. Thick lather from any good pure soap spread over the part thick and
then covered with the cloth dressing. This is very good and is always at
6. Dr. Douglas, of Detroit, very strongly recommends the following simple
remedy: One teaspoonful of common salt to one pint of boiled water, used
comfortably warm. Old clean muslin or gauze cloths of several thicknesses
should be dipped in this solution and spread evenly over the sores in
several layers and over this oiled paper or paraffine paper should be
applied to prevent evaporation or drying and bind all with a bandage. The
covering should not be too thick or it might make the part too warm. This
should be avoided in all dressings.
This salt water dressing can be moistened and changed when necessary.
7. Beeswax ointment. (Dr. Douglas).-
"Benzoinated Lard 6 ounces.
Yellow Beeswax 1 ounce.
Salicylic Acid 20 grains."
Mix the wax in a tin cup, then add the lard, when all is melted remove
from the fire and stir till cool, then add the salicylic acid and continue
stirring until cold. This makes an excellent covering, excludes the air.
8. Ointment of Oxide of Zinc is very good. The following are the
"Oxide of Zinc 2 drams.
Lanoline 5 drams.
Alboline 1 dram.
Salicylic Acid 10 grains.
Mix, and make ointment and apply."
The following is not very pleasant to think about, but farmers have
frequently used it: Cow manure as a poultice.
Another: The inner bark of elder boiled in cream. Use the salve resulting.
This is good for burns and sores.
Another: Slippery elm bark tea boiled down so it will be thick and oily,
is very good.
Some claim that immersing the part in milk and keeping it so is a very
good remedy. We know that cream is, but it will soon become rancid.
Remedies must be of an oily covering nature to do good, or else do it by
their antiseptic qualities like salt, boric acid, etc.
"Picric Acid 75 grains.
Alcohol 20 ounces.
Distilled Water 2 pints.
Mix and apply."
Cleanse the burns of dirt and charred clothing and then soak strips of
clean gauze in this solution and apply to the part. Place over this a pad
of dry absorbent cotton which can be fastened by a light bandage or
adhesive straps. The dressing dries rapidly, and may be left in place for
several days. Then moisten it with the same solution so as to soften the
dressing and remove it. Then apply a fresh dressing of the same kind and
leave on a week. This dressing soon relieves the pain, prevents the
formation of matter (pus), hastens healing and, leaves a smooth surface.
The dressing stains the hands so it is best applied with rubber gloves.
This is good for all degree burns.
For Severe Case. There may be and is shock and great weakness after some
burns. The patient should be put to bed and given strong black coffee, or
if you have it one teaspoonful of aromatic spirits of ammonia in a glass
of water. Hot water bags and jars should be applied to the feet and one
teaspoonful of paregoric may be given to an adult for the pain. Give the
patient ice to hold in his mouth, as he is very thirsty. Cold water and
milk to drink also. If the burn is severe put oil cloth or rubber on the
bed to protect the bed from the wet dressing. Do not put a night-shirt or
pajamas on him, as it pains to remove and renew the dressings, if such are
used as need frequent removal and renewal. Cover warmly, but keep covers
lifted so that their weight will not give unnecessary pain. The bowels can
be kept open with soap-suds enemas. Watch carefully, especially a man, if
urine is passed and enough in quantity. It must be drawn if it is not
passed within twelve hours.
For Third Degree Burns. In this kind there is a great shock. Stimulate
the patient with whisky, etc. Put one ounce in a glass one-half full of
water, and give two teaspoonfuls frequently, dependent upon how much
stimulant the patient has ever used; or an enema of one ounce of hot
coffee can be given.
The first dressings may be the same, but when the patient is stronger
others should be used.
Warm Baths are now used when the deep tissues are burned, and the sloughs
and charred material are removed.
When convenient, begin with a warm tub bath, with boric acid added to the
water--handful to the tub. This is good for stimulating purposes, and
also to relieve pain and for cleansing the surfaces before the
applications of the dressings, these can be of those recommended.
When the air passages have been scalded by hot steam or hot liquids, the
steam of lime-water, not too hot, may soothe.
Next: Burns from Acid