Accidents happen unexpectedly and unscheduled. From road accidents to electrical burns, mishaps can occur anywhere and anytime. While we can take preventive measures to minimize the likelihood, it is impossible to completely erase chances of mishaps. One of the most common examples, when we talk about sudden calamities, is burn accidents. These are a result of exposure to flames, hot surfaces, chemicals and electrical sources. Whether it is a brief encounter with a hot iron, an accidental spill of hot coffee or a more serious incident involving flames, burns can be of varying degrees. Burns are classified, according to severity, into three major types. It is essential to understand the nature of injury and take the right and required care for faster recovery.
What are the types of degree burns?
As mentioned earlier, there are three main types of degree burns.
First degree burn:
This is potentially the least harmful in comparison to the other two degree burns; affecting the outer most layer of the skin called epidermis and typically caused by a brief contact by any hot surface
Symptoms include redness pain and mild swelling. Some common treatments include:
- Gently put cold water on the affected area to help relieve pain and swelling
- Pat the area with a soft, clean cloth
- Apply burn ointment or take pain relievers if needed
Second Degree Burn:
Also known as partial thickness burn, a second degree burn is moderately severe, affecting two layers of the skin; dermis and epidermis and is caused by prolonged contact by hot objects.
Symptoms may include blisters, redness, extreme pain, and skin discoloration. Treatments include:
- Put the affected area in cold water or use cold compress
- Clean the area gently and apply burn ointment
- Take pain relievers if prescribed
- Avoid popping blisters
- If your burn injury develops into an infection or does not show signs of healing, speak to a health professional
Third Degree Burn:
Third degree burns are the most severe amongst the three types, causing to damage all skin layers and often the muscle and bone tissue. These are caused by fire, extremely hot surfaces, or electrical burns etc. leaving the skin to be white and scorched. This might also cause nerve damage.
Third degree burns require immediate care. Hence doing the following is suggested:
- Call emergency immediately
- Do not apply ice, cold compress or bandages
- Keep the person warm with a blanket
- Don’t attempt to remove stuck clothes
Thus, we can establish that all burns are not the same. Burns vary from nature, severity, symptoms and treatment options. While first degree burns can be taken care of with basic first aid, second and third may need medical evaluation and treatment.
Hence, it is advisable to consult a health care professional for better pain management and guidance on wound care. If your burn is causing you discomfort or is developing into an infection, visit us at Sharaf Diwan, MD -18220 TX-249 #230, Houston, TX 77070, or give us a call at (832) 604-0005.