In this blog post, we will be discussing how to identify and treat common burns. Burns can be a very painful injury and, if not treated correctly, can lead to further complications. It is important to know how to identify a burn and the appropriate steps to take in order to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient. Keep reading for more information on how to treat a burn!
What are the signs of burns?
There are three main types of burns: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree. First-degree burns are the least serious and only affect the outer layer of skin (epidermis). Second-degree burns affect both the epidermis and the dermis (the layer of skin below the epidermis). These burns are more painful and often lead to blistering. Third-degree burns are the most serious type of burn and affect all layers of the skin, as well as the underlying bone or muscle. These burns can be very painful and often require surgery to heal properly.
While often times doctors look at a burn given its severity, it is also important to look at the size of the burn. This will help determine how best to treat the burn. For example, a first-degree burn that covers a large area of the body may require more intensive treatment than a small first-degree burn.
Additionally, burns of different types can be treated differently based on how the burn was acquired.
Types of burns include:
- Thermal: These burns are caused by contact with a hot object, such as a stove top, iron, or hot water.
- Chemical: These burns are caused by exposure to an acidic or caustic substance, such as bleach or battery acid.
- Radiation: These burns are caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays, such as from the sun, or to ionizing radiation, such as from X-rays.
- Electrical: These burns are caused by contact with an electrical current, such as from a power line or lightning.
How should burns be treated?
The first step in treating any burn is to stop the burning process. This can be done by removing the source of the heat or by cooling the area with running water for at least five minutes. Once the area has been cooled, it is important to cover the burn with a sterile bandage or wrap. This will help prevent infection and further damage to the skin.
For first-degree and second-degree burns, home treatment is often all that is needed. These burns can be treated with over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to help reduce pain and swelling. It is also important to keep the area clean and dry. The burn should heal within a few days to a week.
For third-degree burns, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. These burns often require hospitalization and surgery. Burns that cover a large area of the body or that are on the face, hands, feet, or genitals may also require specialized care.
Treating burns at urgent care
At an urgent care facility, the first step in treating a burn is to assess the severity of the burn. It is important to note, that only first and second degree minor burns should be treated at a typical Urgent Care. The medical staff will look at the size, depth, and location of the burn to determine how best to treat it. They will also ask about the circumstances surrounding the burn and what, if any, treatments have been done at home.
Once the severity of the burn has been determined, the staff will proceed with treatment. For first-degree and second-degree burns, this often includes cleaning the area and applying a topical antibiotic ointment or cream. The area may also be covered with a sterile bandage or wrap. The staff will also provide instructions on how to care for the burn at home.
For third-degree burns, the staff will stabilize the patient and refer them to a specialist or hospital for further treatment.
When should someone seek medical attention for a burn?
In general, anyone with a third-degree burn or a second-degree burn that covers a large area of the body should seek medical attention. Additionally, burns that are on the face, hands, feet, or genitals should also be seen by a doctor.
For first-degree and second-degree burns, it is important to watch for signs of infection, such as increased pain, redness, swelling, or pus. If these signs occur, it is important to seek medical attention.
It is also important to seek medical attention if the burn does not heal within a week or if it gets worse.
How do you soothe a burn at home?
There are a few things you can do to soothe a minor burn at home.
- First, run the affected area under cool water for five minutes or more.
- You can also apply a clean, cool cloth to the area.
- To help reduce pain and swelling, take over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Finally, apply a sterile bandage or wrap to the area.
Which ointment is best for burns?
There are a variety of ointments that can be used to treat burns. Some common options include aloe vera, antibiotic ointment, and hydrogel dressings. Your doctor will be able to recommend the best option for you based on the severity of your burn.
Minor burns – aftercare
After you have been treated for a minor burn, there are a few things you can do to help the healing process.
- Keep the area clean and dry.
- Apply a sterile bandage or wrap if needed.
- Take over-the-counter medication, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to help reduce pain and swelling.
- Watch for signs of infection, such as increased pain, redness, swelling, or pus. If these occur, seek medical attention.
- The burn should heal within a few days to a week.
If you have any questions or concerns about your burn, be sure to speak with your doctor.
Burn Treatment at University Urgent Care – Fort Worth, TX
Our facility is perfectly equipped to treat most 1st and 2nd degree burns of many types. Hopefully, this blog assists in properly understanding where and how to treat a burn. We accept walk-ins and are ready to assist with any of your urgent care needs.