How to Treat a Minor Burn

iStock_64425093_LARGE.jpgIt’s easy to get a minor burn. Whether you’re grabbing something from the oven, straightening your hair or boiling water, there are numerous things inside your own home that can cause a minor burn. If you suffer from a minor burn, there are a few things you should do to ensure it heals quickly and does not get infected.

First off, it’s important to know what qualifies as a first-degree burn, second-degree burn and major burn. If you’ve received a first-degree burn, your skin will turn red, swell and be painful. Meanwhile, a second-degree burn will usually blister, turn red, swell and be abnormally painful. Finally, major burns are typically a result of a fire and are larger than 2 inches.

If you’ve received a first- or second-degree burn, you should remain calm and work quickly to cool the burn. Always use cool water, not ice, and keep the burned skin under the water for 10 to 15 minutes to alleviate the pain. If you are unable to use a steady flow of water, place a cool, clean cloth on the burn for 5 minutes.

Once the burn has cooled, the affected area should be cleaned with both soap and water. A thin layer of ointment, such as petroleum jelly or aloe vera, can sooth the wound and help heal the burn. Finally, an over-the-counter pain medication, such as Tylenol, Advil or Aleve, can help alleviate pain.

A minor burn can take as many as 3 weeks to heal. While the burn is healing, it may begin to itch; however, it’s important to the healing process that you do not scratch the wounded area. Burns are also susceptible to tetanus, so you should make sure your latest tetanus shot was no more than five years ago. If you begin to experience increased pain, redness, swelling, oozing or fever, you should seek medical attention immediately.

If you believe your burn needs medical attention, consider visiting Denton Regional Urgent Care Center. We offer convenient access to the expert care you need right when you need it, even after hours or on the weekend.

Disclaimer: Patients’ health can vary. Always consult with a medical professional before taking medication, making health-related decisions or deciding if medical advice is right for you.


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