What Are The Different Types of Burns and How Are They Treated?

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Summer is outdoor cooking season, and everyone can enjoy the taste of something grilled over an open flame. Certain outside activities, however, can increase your risk of burn injuries. Each year, countless people are sent to urgent care because of damage to the skin and underlying tissues. While minor burns can be addressed at home, immediate medical attention may be necessary. But how do you know when to see a professional for treating burns?

In July, most burns are caused by grills, fireworks, campfires, and even sun exposure. When you visit University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, TX, our board-certified emergency doctors can assess your injury and present the appropriate treatment solution. Conveniently located near TCU, we serve Frisco Heights, Paschal, Tanglewood, and TCU neighborhoods; our clinic can help you get the care you need right away. Contact us or schedule a virtual appointment to learn more information.

What are first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree burns?

Burns are classified as either first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree based on their severity. First-degree burns are considered superficial since they only affect the outermost layer of the skin. Examples include mild sunburns or scalds from hot liquids. With these burns, the skin will turn red and become hot to the touch. Rarely do they cause any lasting damage or scarring.

Second-degree burns are slightly more severe, affecting the first and second layer of skin. These burns may result in blisters and appear red or white in color. Small first-degree and, sometimes, second-degree burns may be treated at home. Patients can use over-the-counter medications and antibiotics before wrapping the injury in gauze. If the burned area is larger than several inches, treat it like a major burn, and seek medical help.

Third-degree burns are much more significant and always require urgent attention. These burns affect the first and second layers of the skin, as well as the underlying fatty tissue. Patients should be aware that third-degree burns may look charred or leathery, with brown, white, or red skin. Even though most third-degree burns are very painful, they can also destroy the nerves. This means that the area might feel numb.

What are the different types of burns?

There are several types of burns we treat at University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, TX:

  • Thermal burns: skin injuries caused by excessive heat. Thermal burns are usually the result of coming in contact with hot surfaces or liquids.

  • Radiation burns: prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays often lead to sunburn. Sunburns can be prevented by using a high-SPF sunscreen outdoors.

  • Chemical burns: household cleaners, such as bleach or ammonia, not only burn the skin but the lungs as well. Even minor chemical burns require urgent care.

  • Electrical burns: burns from lightning or electrical current can injure the skin and internal tissues. Since the damage can be difficult to see, see a medical professional.

When should I seek medical care?

Burns that involve the face or any major joints should be evaluated by a medical provider. The palms of the hands and soles of the feet may also require attention if the burn interferes with everyday activities. If you believe you have a third-degree burn, call University Urgent Care as soon as possible. These burns can cause nerve damage and permanent scarring. When you visit our clinic, our experienced team of physicians will begin evaluating and treating burn injuries to avoid complications, like infections or tetanus.

How are burns treated?

University Urgent Care recommends keeping a first aid kit at home to treat minor burns at home. Make sure to update the kit every year and keep it well-stocked. If you decide to come to our urgent care center, our team will provide burn care by cleansing and decontaminating the area. First, we give you an antibiotic cream to soothe the skin and promote healing. We may also provide numbing cream and recommend over-the-counter pain medications as necessary. University Urgent Care has an advanced laboratory to check for internal damage or infections, which can also be treated on-site.

Get immediate burn care in your area

Time is crucial when it comes to burn injuries. At common urgent care clinics, it is easy to wait in long lines or get lost in the shuffle. The goal of University Urgent Care in Fort Worth, TX is to provide high-quality burn care as soon as you need it. Our professionals in Frisco Heights, Tanglewood, Paschal, and TCU neighborhood areas know how to make the most of every minute. With a wide array of services at our disposal, we can treat adults and children for virtually any issue, including abdominal pain, rashes, dehydration, and all types of burns. This includes thermal burns, electrical burns, and chemical burns. We have the experience and skills required to help in your time of need.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.