Burn injuries come in many different forms and have many different causes. Most burns come from accidental contact with a hot surface, but others can occur from chemical reactions to exposed skin, electrical current, and even excessive sun exposure.
Burns typically come in four different degrees. First-degree burns are considered the most minor, and odds are you won’t even need to see a doctor to have them treated. How can you tell a first degree burn from a second degree burn? It’s pretty simple. A first-degree burn usually consists of nothing more than red, non-blistered skin. They can still be extremely painful, but they’ll usually recover on their own and return to normal after a few days. If your skin starts to blister or thicken near the burn site, odds are you’ve experienced a second-degree burn or worse. These injuries are when you should seek medical attention for treatment.
However, if you’ve experienced a minor burn at home, you can pretty easily treat it yourself. Here are four steps you should follow.
1. Cold Water
The first step you should take is immediately applying cold running water to the wound for 10 minutes. Do this as soon as the injury occurs. Doing so will immediately lower the temperature of the skin and cause the excess heat to stop damaging the skin, reducing the severity of the symptoms. It will also help alleviate some of the pain (though it may not feel like it).
2. Ice Pack
Once you have sufficiently run water over the wound, you should apply an ice pack to it. This restricts blood flow to the area, preventing the wound from becoming warm and more painful. You should apply the ice for at least 20 minutes to make sure the affected area becomes extremely cold.
3. Apply Ointment
There are a number of over-the-counter ointments available that can help soothe the pain and cool the burning sensation of burn wounds over time. Silverex is one of the more popular ones. Aloe vera gel works well for sunburns. Read the directions of whatever ointment you have and apply it as often as it requests for the first day or two to speed recovery and reduce healing times.
4. Avoid Hot Water
It may be difficult, but you should really avoid hot liquids near the burn injury for quite a while. Whether your burn comes from too much sun exposure or touching a hot surface, try to avoid exposing the wound to hot water for as long as possible. This will allow the wound to heal properly and be less painful.
Information for Victims Suffering from Chemical Burns
If you have been burned by exposure to a chemical substance, follow these same guidelines but consult the safety information on the back of the substance bottle for any additional information. Different chemicals can have different reactions to burn treatments, and you never want to apply a potentially dangerous ointment to a burn injury from a chemical that reacts badly to it – the results could be even worse for you.
If you need treatment for a more severe burn injury, seek the assistance of a Fort Worth Doctor from Primary Care Associates of Texas. Our staff is dedicated to helping you obtain the quality healthcare you’ve been looking for. We believe that a personal relationship between you and your doctor is one of the keys to great treatment and exceptional service, and each of our professional staff members is trained and prepared to provide you with the best available advice and treatment options.
Contact Primary Care Associates of Texas today at to book your appointment!