These may be slight and unattended with danger, or they may involve a large surface and endanger life. For a superficial burn or scald, the part should be held as near the fire as possible; this, although it may at first increase the pain, in a short time produces entire relief. Where the skin is destroyed, or where the burn is extensive, though not deep, turpentine, alcohol, brandy or rum, warmed, should be applied. The burn should be constantly moistened with the spirits as long as the pain is aggravated. In these cases also raw cotton if applied immediately, is beneficial.
In deep and severe burns, as well as those more superficial, soap is a very valuable remedy. Castile soap should be taken, scraped, and made into a salve with tepid water, and this spread on linen or muslin applied over the whole burn or scald. If blisters have formed, they should be punctured with a needle. The dressing may be changed, if necessary, once in twenty-tour hours, being careful not to disturb the parts by washing them.
The application should be continued, until the parts are well.
Another very excellent application, especially where the soap is too irritating, is a linament composed of equal parts of Sweet-oil and lime-water. It should be applied in the same way as the soap. Another application in extensive burns, is wheat flour dusted plentifully over the injured part. The parts should be kept covered with the flour, by new applications, if necessary.
Urtiea Urens, or the tincture of nettles, is a very valuable application for fresh burns. The tincture may be mixed with an equal amount of tepid water and the parts kept constantly moist by means of rags, wet with the mixture.
Six or eight drops of the tincture of cantharides, mixed with a tumbler half full of water, may also be used, applied in the same way as the Urtica Urens. For burns in the mouth and throat, caused by steam or hot food, a few drops of spirits of soap, or of soap dissolved in alcohol, taken once in fifteen or twenty minutes, will produce relief.
In dressing burns, the blisters should be punctured, the old skin removed and yet the parts exposed to the action of the air as little as possible.
If much fever is present, Aconite may be given internally once in three or four hours. If the nervous system is highly excited, Rhus may be taken, and if head symptoms should be developed, Belladonna.