When you experience a burn, the severity of the condition is based on how many layers of your skin get damaged. The classifications of burns are first, second, and third degree, with each getting worse. The kind that causes blisters to form is called a second-degree burn. This burn causes more damage than a first-degree burn. It involves injury to the epidermis and partially to the dermis, including your blood vessels. When you get a second-degree burn, a fluid called serum will seep from the surrounding blood vessels and tissues that got damaged. This serum serves as a protection for the skin underneath it, cushioning it until it heals. Eventually, the fluid gets absorbed back into the body and a scab then forms and peels away, revealing new skin.
The symptoms of a second-degree burn include reddening and swelling of the affected area. Your skin may also feel painful and may take on a splotchy appearance. If your second-degree burn is less than three inches, just treat is a minor burn. But if it is bigger than three inches, treat it as a major burn and see a doctor immediately.
For minor burns, including first and second-degree burns, you may use an ice pack in treating them and preventing more blisters from forming. The first thing that you should do is to cool the burn using a cold compress or ice pack. You can make your own ice pack by putting ice cubes inside a plastic bag or wrapping them in a wet towel. You may also use a pack of frozen peas.
You should be careful when using an ice pack since instead of making your condition better, it might even make it worse. Here are a few tips on how to use an ice pack properly:
- Rub some olive oil on the area where you will apply the ice pack. You may also use cooking oil. If the skin is broken, do not put oil on it but instead cover the area with a plastic bag and a thin cloth to prevent it from getting wet.
- Place the ice pack of the cloth.
- Check the color of your skin after three minutes. If it appears pinkish or reddish, remove the ice pack. Otherwise, let it stay for another three minutes.
There is little benefit to be reaped if an ice pack is left on the affected area for a long time. Doing so will only increase the risk of damaging the skin further. You will run the risk of getting frostbite.