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How to Respond to a Burn Injury

We’ve all experienced minor burns in our lives. Touching a hot pan, spilling a heated drink, or testing tap water that turns out to be too hot are all very common experiences. Considering this, it is surprising how many people are not fully informed about first aid treatment for burns. When a person suffers a serious burn, this lack of knowledge can become a grave problem.

Treatment for Minor Burns

First, you need to know how to recognize a minor burn. A first degree burn or small (under 3 inches in diameter) second degree burn is usually considered minor. It is usually fairly simple to tell the difference between the two.

  • First degree: Only the outermost layer of skin is injured. The only symptoms are pain, redness, and potentially some swelling.
  • Second degree: The injury extends to the second layer of skin. The skin will be dark red and will often blister, with a high degree of pain.

Mild burns should be cleaned with cool water and covered with a sterile bandage. A nonprescription painkiller is usually adequate for the pain. Do not use butter or creams on a fresh burn, as that can trap the heat in and prolong healing.

Treatment for Major Burns

If a first or second degree burn is over 3 inches, or covers a sensitive area like a joint or the face, seek medical attention from a professional. You also need to know how to recognize third degree burns.

  • Third degree: Damage extends to fatty tissue and muscle below the skin. The injury may appear charred or white. Sometimes there is no pain due to extensive nerve damage.

Major burns should not be cleaned with cold water, as this can cause shock. Instead, elevate the injury and seek emergency medical treatment right away. Cover the injury with clean, damp cloths.

Contact Us

If you or a loved one has suffered a burn injury due to someone else’s negligence, contact Jacksonville burn injury lawyer Don Guthrie at 904-296-1088.

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Jacksonville, FL 32216
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