Every year, an estimated half a million individuals go to the emergency department because of burn injuries. Kids are at high risk for accidental burns. Additionally, more than 300 children undergo emergency treatment for burn injuries.
But what if you get burned pretty bad? How do you recover from a serious burn injury? Let’s go over some relevant information about burns and how to treat them.
What are the Degrees of burns?
A burn occurs when sunlight, heat, chemicals, electricity, or radiation damages your skin tissue. Usually burns happen accidentally.
There are 3 different degrees of burns: first-degree, second-degree, and third degree-burns. Each degree is based on the severity of damage to your skin, with first degree being the most minor and the third degree being the most severe. The healthcare provider will determine the degree of the burn based on the depth of the burn and the amount of affected skin. If a burn is left untreated, then it might lead to infection.
Care Instructions for Burns
Even minor burns can be extremely painful. While minor burns can heal within several days, more serious burns may take several weeks or even months to fully heal.
You may notice that your burned area feels tight and hard while it’s healing. It’s critical to continue to move the area as the burn heals to prevent loss of function or loss of motion in the affected area.
When the skin is damaged by a burn, there’s a higher risk of infection. Therefore, make sure to keep the wound clean and change the bandages frequently to avoid infection and help it heal faster.
Bruns may leave unsightly, permanent scars. Taking good care of your burn as it heals may prevent scarring.
Remember, even if your doctor checked you carefully, problems may develop later. Should you notice any problems or new symptoms, then seek medical treatment immediately.
Follow-up care is a vital part of your safety and treatment. Make sure to go to all your appointments and call your doctor if you’re experiencing problems. Don’t hesitate to ask about your test results and keep a list of the medications you take.
Caring for Your Burn at Home
If your physician told you how to care for your burn, then follow all of his/ her instructions. However, if you didn’t get instructions, then here are some general advice:
Wash your burn with clean water twice a day. Avoid using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide, which can delay healing.
- Gently pat the affected area dry after washing it.
- You can apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly and cover your burn with a non-stick bandage.
- Continue applying more Vaseline or petroleum jelly and replacing the bandage regularly.
- Do protect the burn while it’s healing. Cover it if you’re going out in the cold or the sun.
- You may wear long sleeves if the burn is on your arms or hands.
- You may also wear shoes and socks if your feet got burned.
- Avoid breaking the blisters open. This increases your risk of infection.
Lastly, if your healthcare provider prescribed antibiotics, then take them as directed. Don’t stop taking your medicines just because you already feel better. It’s crucial that you take the full course of antibiotics.
Jeffery Robinette was admitted to practice law in 1991 and is licensed in all levels of state and federal trial courts in West Virginia. Mr. Robinette is also licensed in all state and federal appeals courts in West Virginia and the United States Supreme Court. As a National Board Certified Trial Attorney who has handled hundreds of motor vehicle, injury, and construction defect claims and a leading author on insurance claims settlement issues and difficulties in West Virginia, Jeff Robinette is uniquely qualified to represent your best interest.