What Should You Do For a Burn?

hand rubbing cream on sunburn

Are you looking for the most effective way to treat a burn?

There are many different kinds of burns out there, and even more ways to acquire one.

Sometimes it can be tough to assess your burn’s severity and what to do about it.

So what should you do for a burn? In this post, we look closely at burn types and their remedies.

What Should You Do For a Burn? Determining Severity

The first thing to do in order to treat a burn effectively is identify its severity. In general, there are three classifications of burns out there.

1. First Degree Burns

These are the mildest form of burns. First degree burns only involve the top layer of skin and can result in swelling, redness, pain, and other minor effects.

Common sources of first degree burns include stovetop or kitchen burns, mild scalding from hot water, and sunburns.

2. Second Degree Burns

These are moderately severe burns that affect the top layer of your skin and the layer directly beneath it.

You can recognize these burns through the site’s blistering, swelling, redness, and deep pain.

3. Third Degree Burns

These are the most severe burns out there.

If you acquire a third-degree burn, your skin may appear black or white. You may also lose feeling in certain areas of the burn, due to its penetration of your deep skin layers.


So what should you do for a burn? After classifying your burn, follow these recommended steps for treatment.

1. Treat Minor Burns At Home

Minor burns include first degree burns of any kind, as well as very small second degree burns (less than 3 inches big).

They are also particularly if they occur on non-sensitive parts of the body, such as forearms, shoulders, legs, and chest.

Depending on the burn’s source, you can treat minor burns by running the affected site under cold water for five minutes. Individuals may also want to apply aloe vera or a mild anesthetic cream to the burn site.

You can take ibuprofen to reduce swelling and pain.

2. Be Cautious with Second Degree Burns

Second-degree burns are a little more variable. Sometimes you can treat these at home by running the burn under cool (not ice) water for an extended time.

If your skin has blistered, carefully wash the blistered site with cool water, being careful not to break the blisters.

Do not apply any sprays or gels. Wrap the cleaned site with fresh gauze.

If the blisters and/or pain are unbearable, seek medical treatment.

3. Always Seek Emergency Services for Severe Burns

If you believe you have a severe or third-degree burn, head to the ER immediately. Medical attention will prevent your burned skin from deforming, scarring, and more.

And, if you’re ever in doubt about the severity of your burn, seek medical attention right away.

What Should You Do For a Burn? Final Thoughts

It’s always best to be prepared when it comes to burns and their treatment. Learn how to recognize the different types of burns out there and how to treat them.

In general, emergency services are only necessary for third-degree (severe) burns. You can easily treat first-degree and other mild burns at home.

At Emerald Coast Urgent Care, we’re here for you. Let us be your destination for premium medical services the next time you encounter a burn!

Reach out today to start a conversation if you have any further questions.

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