Scalds and Burns

February 21st, 2019

The following facts cannot be too firmly impressed on the mind of the reader, that in either of these accidents the first, best and often the only remedies required, are sheets of wadding, fine wool, or carded cotton, and in the default of these, violet powder, flour, magnesia or chalk. The object for which these several articles are employed is the same in each instance; namely, to exclude the air from injured part; for if the air can be effectually shut out from the raw surface, and care is taken not to expose the tender part till the new cuticle is formed, the cure may be safely left to nature. The moment a person is called to a case of scald or burn, he should cover the part with a sheet, or a portion of a sheet, of wadding, taking care not to break any blister that may have formed, or stay to remove any burnt clothes that may adhere to the surface, but as quickly as possible envelope every part of the injury from all access of the air, laying one or two more pieces of wadding on the first, so as to effectually guard the burn or scald from the irritation of the atmosphere; and if the article used is wool or cotton, the same precaution, of adding more material where the surface is thinly covered, must be adopted; a light bandage finally securing all in their places. Any of the popular remedies recommended below may be employed when neither wool, cotton nor wadding are to be procured, it being always remembered that that article which will best exclude the air from a burn or scald is the best, quickest, and least painful mode of treatment. And in this respect nothing has surpassed cotton loose or attached to paper as in wadding.

If the Skin is Much Injured in burns, spread some linen pretty thickly with chalk ointment, and lay over the part, and give the patient some brandy and water if much exhausted; then send for a medical man. If not much injured, and very painful, use the same ointment, or apply carded cotton dipped in lime water and linseed oil. If you please, you may lay cloths dipped in ether over the parts, or cold lotions. Treat scalds in same manner, or cover with scraped raw potato; but the chalk ointment is the best. In the absence of all these, cover the injured part with treacle, and dust over it plenty of flour.

Source: One Thousand Secrets of Wise and Rich Men Revealed, C. A. Bogardus