This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
If possible, immediately immerse the injured part in water at about the temperature of the body. Very extensive bums in which considerable portions of the skin are destroyed, are best treated by the continuous bath, the patient remaining immersed in water until the new skin is formed. Patients have been kept immersed in this way for months, in some instances with the result of securing recovery when no hope was afforded by any other means. No harm results from prolonged immersion, provided the water is changed as it should be, once or twice a day. An excellent means of relieving the pain of an extensive bum, is the application of common baking soda. This generally relieves the pain to a very great extent in a short time, and seems to promote the healing process wonderfully. Portions of charred clothing and other foreign matter should be removed by a stream of warm water, or immersion of the part in warm water, and the injured surface should be thoroughly covered with the dry soda. The part should then be covered with cottonwool or common wadding. Carron oil, consisting of equal parts of lime-water and linseed oil, is a favorite remedy with many, but has the disadvantage of being very dirty and having an unpleasant odor. Carbolated vaseline, containing ten drops of carbolic acid to the ounce, is an excellent application. It should be spread upon thin cloths with a case knife to the thickness of a knife-blade, and applied over the burnt surface. When suppuration occurs, the injured surface should be thoroughly washed two or three times a day with warm water and castile soap, and afterward rinsed with a one per cent lotion of carbolic acid. If the burned parts are very badly swollen with oedema, as is frequently the case with burns of the face and scalp, hot fomentations should be applied for the purpose of stimulating the circulation.
We very recently had the opportunity of trying this method of treatment in the case of an engineer who was badly burned by an explosion of gas, and with the most excellent results. A remedy which has been recently recommended very highly is thymol. It is to be used in the proportion of one part to one hundred of linseed oil at first, and afterward in proportion of one part to one thousand of oil. It should be applied several times a day.
When the patient suffers with chilliness and other symptoms of shock, the treatment recommended for this condition should be given. The fever which frequently accompanies extensive burns, especially after suppuration begins, should be cautiously treated by means of tepid sponging, full baths, and large tepid compresses about the body.
Scalds of the mouth, which occur most frequently in children who sometimes attempt to drink from the spout of the tea-kettle, require a warm moist atmosphere. This may be secured by enveloping the head of the patient in a blanket or oil-cloth and conducting beneath the covering steam from a tea-kettle by means of a rubber hose. A better means, however, of using warm vapor in these cases is the steam inhaler.
If there is great swelling of the epiglottis, so as to interfere with the breathing, lancing sometimes becomes necessary.