Categorized | Skin Care

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Burn Care – Taking Care of Skin Burns

When you get a skin burn, you may be worried about how to properly care for the burn. You don’t want the area to get infected, and you want to make sure that once it’s healed, you don’t have a scar as a reminder of your burn. Fortunately, there are things you can do to make sure your burn stays clean and heals properly.

The first thing you need to know is how bad your burn is. Burns are evaluated in “degrees” of first, second, and third, with third-degree burns being the worst.

First-degree Burns

First-degree burns are the mildest. Usually, these burns are just on the surface of the skin. They are painful and red, and may swell a little. When you touch the skin, it will turn white. Usually these burns heal in less than a week.

If you have a first-degree burn, it can be treated at home. Soak the burned area in cool water for about ten minutes. Gently wash the area with warm water and a mild soap and pat it dry. You can apply an ointment like aloe vera or an antibiotic ointment to the area to help it heal and keep it from getting infected. You may also want to protect it by covering it with a clean, dry bandage. If you do, be sure to change the bandage frequently to keep the area clean and dry. If you have pain, you can take over the counter pain medication like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Second-degree Burns

Second-degree burns are more painful and will blister. They may swell more than first-degree burns, and the skin may looked splotchy. Usually these burns heal in two or three weeks. These burns can also be treated at home, but if you’re concerned, or the burn is in a sensitive area, you may want to consult your doctor about whether or not to go in.

If you decide to treat the burn at home, soak it in cool water for about fifteen minutes. If the burned area is small, you should put cool, wet cloths on the area for a few minutes each day, then use an antibiotic cream, and cover the area with a clean, dry, nonstick bandage secured with medical tape. The dressing should be changed every day, and you should keep an eye on the burn. If it starts to swell more, turn redder, give you more pain, or has pus, be sure to call your doctor right away.

Third-degree Burns

Third-degree burns are the worst. They cause damage to all of the layers of skin, which looks charred or white. Many times, these burns don’t have any pain because there is also damage to the nerves. These burns take much longer to heal, and in some cases, may require skin graphs. Do not try to treat these burns at home. Call 911 and wait for the paramedics to treat you. Don’t try to take any clothing off that’s stuck to the burn, don’t soak it in water, or apply any ointments. You may want to cover the area with a sterile bandage until help arrives.

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