When to Get Help for A Burn

Burns are one of the most common types of household injuries. Children are most likely to be harmed. The term does not only mean the painful burning feeling linked with the injury but also to the damage done to the skin.

You can consult any physician at any walk-in clinic and learn more about the different varying kinds of burns. In this article, we will tell you about the kinds, degrees, causes, and treatment of the burns.

Types

Burns can be of different kinds depending upon the external sources such as

  • Burns caused by flames
  • Thermal burns
  • Liquids or steam burns
  • Electric current burns
  • Sunburns
  • Chemical burns
  • Radial burns
  • Abusive or violence burns

Degrees

Burns are usually classified into three types depending upon how deep they penetrate and how much damage they cause. Visit a walk-in clinic and get informed properly for different degrees of burns. The degrees of burn, in ascending order of severity are:

  • First degree burns
  • Second-degree burns
  • Third-degree burns

First Degree Burns

Also known as superficial burns, first degree burns are the kind of injuries that damage the first or the topmost layer of the skin.

Causes

First degree burns are usually caused by

  • Sunburns
  • Electric shocks
  • Scalds

Symptoms

First degree burns are mild and minor. They don’t cause blisters but they surely leave you with pain, swelling and red skin.

Treatment

Homecare is the most common way to treat minor first-degree burns but if the first-degree burns affect a sensitive or large area of the body it is recommended to consult the doctor.

Treatment for first degree burns are:

  • Keeping the affected area in cold water for ten minutes
  • Taking painkillers
  • Applying Aloe Vera cream or gel to soothe the affected area
  • Taking antibiotics

NOTE: Never use ice as it will do more harm and make the burn worse.

Healing Period

First degree burns that affect small areas usually heal within two or three days but the burns that cover huge areas may take some time to heal.

Second Degree Burns

Also known as “partial thickness burns”, second degree burns penetrate up to the dermis layer (middle layer) of the skin.

Causes

The partial thickness of second-degree burns might be caused due to:

  • Scalds
  • Contact with hot objects
  • Chemicals
  • Electric shocks
  • Flames

Symptoms

Second-degree burns cause serious damage. The affected area gets red, swollen and blistered with a long-lasting sensation of pain. The burn may also cause the skin to appear shiny, wet or discolored in an irregular pattern.

Treatments

It is recommended to consult the doctor right away but you can take the following first aid measures:

  • Run cold water over the skin for 15-20 minutes.
  • Take some pain killers
  • Apply antibiotic cream to the blisters

Healing Period

Second-degree burns usually take three to four weeks to heal but in some cases, the healing period may extend up to two months.

Third Degree Burns

Also known as ” Full Thickness Burns”, third-degree burns affect all layers of the skin, penetrating to the very bottom and destroying the skin entirely.

Causes

The most common causes of the full thickness third-degree burns are:

  • Scalding liquids
  • Flames
  • Chemicals
  • Molten Metals
  • Nuclear radiations
  • Trauma
  • Electric shocks

Symptoms

Some common symptoms of full thickness third-degree burns are discolored, dry, leathery skin with swelling. In this kind of burns, no or very little pain is felt as all the nerve endings are destroyed.

Treatment

Never ever try to treat third-degree burns at home, not even first aid. Call 911 immediately.

Healing Period

It is impossible for the new skin to grow due to the complete destruction of the epidermis. Full-thickness third degree burns take a very long time to heal. In order to heal, the burns need proper medical attention.

Even if the wounds heal without medical attention, they will heal very poorly. There is no specific time for these burns to heal.