Skin Burn

Treating Skin Burns

A skin burn is a traumatic injury to the skin caused by a number of different substances and methods, such as hot liquids, flames, chemicals, electrical currents, and radiation. There are various burn treatments that can affect how much damage is healed and how well it recovers. Treatment for burns depends on the depth and degree of the burn, but the goal of any treatment is to reduce pain and avoid infection.

First Aid for Skin Burns

The initial step in skin burns is to offer first aid. This includes immediately cooling the burn area by running cool (not cold) water over it or placing a cool, wet compress on the area for several minutes. Keep the compress wet until you get to a medical professional or call for emergency services. Refrain from using ice. Never apply butter, oil, or other ointments to the burn.

Treatments for Skin Burns

The treatment for skin burns generally depends on the type and severity of the burn:

  • Minor Burns: Treat minor burns with cool compresses and over-the-counter pain relievers for the discomfort. After cooling the burn, cover the area loosely with a sterile gauze bandage. If the area blisters, create a bandage that keeps the area clean and dry.
  • Second-Degree Burns: Depending on the severity, more complex treatment may be used. A doctor may suggest over-the-counter pain relievers and may recommend wearing loose, sterile bandages. Avoid blisters since they can lead to infection.
  • Third-Degree Burns: These burns extend into the fat and require medical attention. Cover the area with a clean, dry cloth until professional medical care is available.

Skin burns can be extremely serious, especially if they are deep or involve a large area of skin. Severe burns may require specialized care, including medicine, therapy, or surgery.