The steam that gets released is usually around 100 degrees Celsius therefore even a small encounter with it can cause a burn that you cannot even imagine.
These days, steam burns generally take place while using a steam iron or in the kitchen; lifting lid from a hot pot, opening a microwave dish etc.
The steam burns are normally external and minor ones. This is because immediately the reflex action takes place and thus the skin is not exposed to the high temperature for a long duration to cause a major burn.
Minor steam burn can easily be treated at home with first aid and kitchen ingredients. The severe burns or burns around special areas like face, genitals etc require immediate doctor’s attention.
Table of Contents
What Happens In A Steam Burn?
When the skin is exposed to steam, the steam gets easily dissolved in the skin and thus the temperature of the affected area also reaches 100 degrees Celsius.
The first thing during steam burn care is to make sure that the affected person remains cool. Before, the doctor arrives you have to analyse the situation and seriousness of burns.
Category Of Burns
You can categorize the steam burn with the level of severity.
- A minor or superficial burn is known as the first-degree burn. It is not at all severe because it hurts only the outer layer of the skin. Mild pain, swelling and redness are some of the symptoms.
- The second degree burns are severe and affects the inner layers of skin. It usually causes white and wet blisters. The skin will become shiny.
- The most severe of all is the third degree burn that causes damage to entire skin.
- Fourth degree burns include burning of bones and joints as well.
It is recommended to rush the patient to the nearest hospital for steam burn relief if he suffers from third or fourth degree burns.
Immediate First Aid
- Cool Tap Water
- Sterile Gauze
- Burn Cream
- Over-the-counter Pain Killer
- The first step in how to heal steam burns is to immediately bring down the temperature of the affected area. It is recommended to put the area under tap water. The cool tap water must run for about 20 minutes before you remove the burnt area from it. Never apply ice or extremely cold water on the burns as it further damages the skin.
- It is important to dry off the burnt area gently after you have washed it. You do not need to cover the minor burns at all but for extra comfort you can always put dry gauze over it. If blisters appear on the area then it is vital to apply non-stick pad so as to not hurt it any further. You can apply a burn cream on the area before the gauze for better effect. Never apply butter or oil.
- After the site has been cooled down, you need to check the size of the burn area. If the area is larger than your palm then it is better to gently cover it with dry gauze. Your burn will then need emergency medical attention. But if you have small affected area you can perform steam burn treatment at home.
- If you are unable to tolerate the pain any long then you can always take a painkiller like ibuprofen or acetaminophen for relief.
- Change the gauze and dressing daily till the burn dries up and it is not painful anymore.
- Look out for symptoms of infection in your burn. It includes swelling, red streaks, increased pain or fever.
- Visit a doctor at once if you face any of the above symptoms.
- You will need emergency medical care if the burns are on your face, genitals, feet or if you have inhaled a lot of steam.
- If you have diabetes or weak immunity then do not perform any home treatment without your doctor’s permission.
- If a child is involved in the burn case then it is vital to seek a doctor’s help right away.
- First degree burns and most of the second degree ones can be treated with a home steam burn treatment.
Home Remedies for Steam Burn
1. Cool Compress
As an alternative to keep the burnt area under running cool water for 20 minutes. You can also give it a cold compress with clean dry cloth and cool tap water. This will alleviate the swelling, temperature and pain from the area.
Do not press it much on the burn as you may cause damage. It is recommended to gently put the cool wet cloth on the area and leave it.
Things You Need:
- Clean Dry Cloth
- Bowl of Cool Tap water
- Dip the cloth in the bowl of tap water
- Take it out and wring out excess water.
- Now place it on the burn and wait for the cloth to warm up.
- Repeat this activity for 15 to 20 minutes for proper steam burn care.
Never use ice water for cold compress over the burns. This will cause further damage and you may find blisters on skin.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has a long list of benefits you can apply it as a moisturizer and even eat it just as it is. The anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of this plant make it a heavenly healer for the first degree burns.
It helps in improving the blood circulation in the affected area which further stops the escalation of bad bacteria. Therefore it stops the chance of infections. The best way to apply aloe vera is to take the gel directly from plant and apply it over for steam burn relief.
You can also apply aloe vera juice or gel available in the market if you are suffering a first degree burn. But for second degree burns it is recommended to apply fresh aloe. Aloe vera is a painkiller and astringent. It is a very powerful home remedy.
When thinking about how to heal steam burns you may also apply honey. Honey has anti-septic, anti inflammatory and antibacterial properties that help in healing small burns. It provides instant relief from pain and redness. This is a very popular home remedy and helps reduce burning sensation.
Things You Need:
- 1 Cotton Swab
- 1 teaspoon Honey
- Dip the cotton swab in honey and then massage it on the burn area.
- Apply honey all over the burn with the help of swab.
More: Top 12 Home Remedies for Sunburnt Lips: No.5 Will Shock You!
4. Coconut Oil
It is normally said that oil must not be applied on burns. When you think about what to put on steam burns you can safely take coconut oil since it is different and has major healing properties.
It is rich in vitamin E that helps in healing the burns and skin as well. It is also anti fungal in nature and thus also helps in preventing infections.
- You can directly apply a layer of extra virgin coconut oil on the burn area post the cool water and compress session. Leave it on.
For the burn scars
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice
- Mix the two well and then directly apply on the burn marks.
- Massage for a few minutes till the oil gets absorbed completely in the skin.
Acetic acid has healing properties that helps in alleviating the itching, pain, redness and inflammation from the burns (1).
It also helps in cooling and brings down the temperature of the burnt area. This way in how to treat a steam burn the pain gets nullified.
Things You Need:
- Cotton swab
- 1 Teaspoon of Vinegar
- Dip the cotton swab in vinegar and apply it on the affected burn areas.
Things You Need:
- Clean and Dry Cloth
- Bowl of diluted Vinegar and Water solution
- This works just like a cold compress. You have to dip the cloth in the solution.
- Take the cloth out and wring out the excess solution.
- Place it on the burnt area for relief. Take care not to press too much.
6. Black Tea Bag
When thinking of a remedy or what to put on steam burns then black tea bag comes as a real saviour. This is because it contains tannic acid that helps in removing the pain and cooling the area too. It brings the temperature down significantly.
Things You Need :
- 2-3 wet Tea Bags
- Sterile Gauze
- Take 2 to 3 wet tea bags and cover the burn area with it.
- You can easily keep them in one place with the help of sterile gauze.
Things You Need :
- 2-3 Tea bags
- Bowl of Cool Water
- Soak some tea bags in cool water for 5 to 10 minutes or till the water become golden.
- Now put your burn area inside this liquid and hold for 10 minutes.
- This will immediately bring the pain down and the temperature as well.
If you are suffering from 1st degree burns then you can combine the cold water with this. But if you are suffering from 2nd degree burns then it is advisable to wait until the wound begins to heal.
7. Lavender Oil
The healing properties of lavender oil were discovered by a French chemist during early 1900s (2). The chemist accidentally burnt his hand in the lab but at once put it in a bowl of lavender oil. This oil alleviated his pain and healed the burns. The recipe for how to treat a steam burn is given below.
Things You Need:
- 1 teaspoon Lavender Oil
- 2 ounce Water
- Mix both water and lavender oil together.
- Shake very well so that they get emulsified.
- Now spray it on the burn area as and when you need.
You can also apply the lavender oil directly. It also helps in healing the scars.
8. Egg White
Egg white is a miracle when you think of how to treat steam burns. It heals the burn area, lowers pain and prevents any scars.
Things You Need:
- Break the egg and separate the white and yolk.
- Now coat the burnt area with the egg white.
- You will not feel pain till the area is wet.
- When the egg white dries up wash and reapply fresh coat.
More: Home Treatment for Burns on the Roof of Your Mouth
9. Onion Juice
This is frequently used as a first aid by chefs and kitchen staff all around the world. It is a great remedy when it comes to how to treat steam burns. This also helps in preventing blisters.
Things You Need:
- Peel and grate the onion.
- Squeeze out the juice.
- Apply it over the burnt area.
10. Soy Sauce
What to do for a steam burn? This will not trouble you anymore if you knew that soy sauce- a kitchen ingredient could help in healing the small 1st and 2nd degree burns. All you need to do is to apply a coat of soy sauce on the affected area after the cold compress.
Leave the soy sauce for 30 minutes. It will prevent blisters from occurring in the area.
11. Tomato or Grated Potato
Potato and tomato both have healing properties. Lycopene from tomato helps in easing the pain and prevents blisters (3). You can directly apply tomato slices on the burn area or even fresh tomato pulp for what to do for a steam burn.
Grated potato helps in taking away the heat from the burnt area. It acts as a plant poultice and thus is a great healer. After cold compress, if you still feel the heat badly it is recommended to apply grated potato for steam burn on hand.
In the end, when tackling a burn you need to do a proper dressing to keep it away from infections. If possible also take antibiotics so that the wounds can heal fast. For how to soothe a steam burn leave the area as it is and do not touch it frequently.
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