Burns Treatment Questions and Answers
If you have sustained a burn injury and require treatment, come to Lifetime Urgent Care. Our professional medical staff are here to help you mend your injury in no time at all. For more information, please call us or simply walk-in! We serve patients from Flint MI, Rankin MI, Grand Blanc MI, Genesee County MI, Burton MI, Swartz Creek MI, Gaines MI, Fenton MI, Holly MI, Linden MI, and Atlas MI.
Table of Contents:
What is the correct treatment for a burn?
How do doctors treat severe burns?
How long will it take for a burn to go away?
Should I go to emergency or an urgent care for a burn?
When should I see a doctor about a burn?
Burns are a common affliction with many different causes. The most common cause of burns is exposure to high heat, such as fire or a cooking element. Burns can also be caused by electricity, chemicals and even exposure to extreme cold. Everyone sustains a burn at least once throughout their life, and since they are such a common affliction, there are many treatments available for burns.
If you have sustained a minor burn, first aid treatment is as follows:
Cool down the burn – Cool the burn under cool, running water. Make sure not to use ice cold water as this will worsen the injury.
Remove tight items – These include rings, bracelets or other jewelry from the burned area. It is important to be gentle, but to act quickly before the swelling starts.
Avoid breaking blisters – When a blister fills with fluid, it protects the area from infection. Take precautionary measures to avoid popping the blister. If a blister breaks, carefully clean the area and apply an antibiotic ointment.
Apply a moisturizing lotion – Using a moisturizing lotion like aloe vera helps provide relief and keep the area from drying out.
Loosely bandage the burn – Use sterile gauze. Avoid using fluffy cotton, as this could shed and get stuck to the healing area. Also avoid putting too much pressure on the burned skin, as this could exacerbate the injury.
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever – These can be taken when necessary but should not be overused. Common pain relievers include acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or naproxen.
The first priority in treating a severe burn is to ensure that the airways remains open, as smoke inhalation is common alongside severe burn injuries. The next priority is to treat the shock associated with the burn injury. After this initial treatment of the airway and resuscitation of the burn shock, the wound is then dressed. Antibiotics may be used to prevent the infection of burn wounds. The goals in managing burn injuries are to prevent infection, to avoid further injury or damage to the tissues, and to close and cover the wound as soon as possible.
The time is takes for a burn to heal will depend on the degree, depth and the location of the burn. While most minor first or second degree burns heal in just a few weeks, larger or more serious burns can take several months to fully heal, with scars lasting for years, or even a lifetime.
The place you go to receive care depends on the severity of the burn. For minor burns and moderate burns that do not affect the face, hands, head, feet or a major joint, urgent care centers can provide prompt and professional care. However, if the burn is serious or affects the hands, face, feet, head or major joint, seek medical attention at a hospital emergency room right away. It is important to seek the care of a medical professional to ensure proper healing.
There are several factors that indicate the seriousness of a burn:
Location of the burn – Burns to the face, eyes, ears, hands, feet or genital area are much more likely to cause permanent damage if not treated.
Degree of the burn – While it can be hard to determine the degree of a burn, knowing a few details can help discern the difference. Second-degree burns are usually the most painful as the outside layers of the skin are damaged. In more severe cases, pain is not typically as present, as damage to the nerves is sustained at deeper burns.
Size of the burn – Burns are more dangerous when they cover a large area of the body. As a general rule, a burn requires medical attention if it covers more skin than the size of the palm of your hand.
Signs of infection – The burn is likely infected if you are exhibiting symptoms such as increased pain, redness, swelling, liquid or a foul odor coming from the wound.
Worsening over time – Oftentimes burns can seem minor with minimal pain and discomfort, only to feel and look worse over the next day or so. This is a clear sign that the burn was deep and damaging and medical attention should be sought out immediately.
If you or someone you know has sustained a burn injury, come to Lifetime Urgent Care for treatment. Our kind and compassionate professionals are experienced in treating burns and can help you relieve your symptoms and get you on the road to recovery. For more information about our burn treatments, call our office and get in touch with a member of our specialist team. To book an appointment with our burn treatment specialist, visit our website or speak with us over the phone today.