Your leg buckles and you suddenly see yourself falling. You know that everybody is looking at you. You also know that you will probably rip your trousers and at best will have a grazed knee. Does this scene sound familiar? It can be quite embarrassing if not painful. When that happens what we want to do is crawl home and nurse our injured pride and (hopefully only our) knee in the privacy of our home.
If you do manage to crawl away somewhere, the first thing that has to be done is to remove all the dirt out of the wound. If you are unable to do so, then you must seek medical treatment as soon as possible since any dirt that is left in the wound may cause an infection. If the wound is more than quarter of an inch wide or the edges are too ragged to be put together you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible as you might need stitches.
So this is what you can do to deal with those unpleasant cuts, grazes and burns:
- Stop the bleeding
To stop the bleeding apply pressure to the wound with a clean tissue or cloth, if possible, elevate the wound above your chest as this will delay the flow of blood to the wound.
- Wash the wound
This is extremely important. Wash the wound with soap and water or with an over the counter cleanser. Make sure you clean it well and that there is no dirt whatsoever left inside the wound.
- Antibacterial solution
Apply an antibacterial solution to the wound as this will prevent the development of an infection.
- Close the skin
Any cut that is 1/8-1/4 of an inch wide needs to be closed as this helps the wound to heal faster; this can be done by using butterfly strips or a plaster.
Covering the wound will help it heal faster and reduce the risk of infection. Try to use something that will be not stick to the wound, because when it comes to taking it off it will peel of the scab.
- Keep clean
Remove the bandage once a day and wash the wound with soap and water. Make sure to put a clean bandage back on.
If you dislike the idea of using chemicals to help the wound heal, we bring you some natural remedies.
This is a great healer. Just like bees are attracted to the sweet taste and smell of honey, so are germs. Apply some honey to a piece of plaster or gauze and apply it directly to the clean wound.
If you don’t mind the smell then why not try crushing half an onion in a blender and mixing it with some honey, then apply it to some gauze and then to the cut. Make sure not to leave this on for more than an hour, repeat three times a day.
- White vinegar
Mix 1 tablespoon of white vinegar and 1 pint of water. Soaking the wound inside the solution will loosen the scab, making it fall off. Just be warned that vinegar stings.
Anybody who has ever cooked in front of a hot oven or stove has gone through the unpleasant and painful experience of underestimating the heat of a cooking pot or oven tray and suffering a burn. Sunbathers also can boast of having suffered from sunburn. It is important that we know what to do when you or someone you know experiences a burn whether large or small.
There are three different types of burns 1st degree, 2nd degree, and 3rd degree all of which define the severity of the burn. What is the difference between the three degrees?
- 1st degree. This is the most common type of burn. It is an inflammation of the skin, with redness and some swelling. The skin will be painful to touch. This however is not a severe type of burn and can treated at home.
- 2nd degree. This type of burn causes more damage because it penetrates deeper into the skin. A 2nd degree burn causes inflammation and blistering. Treating a 2nd degree burn at home will minimise the damage but medical treatment will also be necessary.
- 3rd degree. These are the most severe types of burns and need immediate medical treatment. A 3rd degree will burn all the layers of the skin affected and will totally destroy the skin in the affected area. You might think that the burn is not so bad because you don’t feel any pain this is because of the depth of the damage; the burn damages the nerves and the blood vessels in the area.
So what do you do if you get burnt?
- The first thing you need to do with a burn is cool it down. Place the burnt area under cold running water, in ice or in contact with something that is frozen, leaving it there for 15-20 minutes.
- Honey will prevent an infection from developing. Make sure the wound is washed then apply honey to the area.
- Aloe Vera is very soothing and refreshing. Apply generously to the affected area.
- Lavender oil has been said to be effective in healing burns.
- Egg whites are a natural and cheap way of healing a burn. Apply the egg white to the affected area and then soak a paper towel in the egg white and wrap it around the burnt area. The pain should ease within half an hour.
However, burns that develop a marked redness or become blistered should urgently be attended to by your GP or Accident and Emergency department
In the case of severe blistering or charring of the skin DO NOT immerse the burn in water particularly if clothing is attached to the affected area. Merely protect the area with a clean cotton dressing and seek immediate medical treatment.