DEAR mei CLINIC: What’s the best means to treat a minor burn? in ~ what allude does a burn require medical care?

ANSWER: The level of treatment needed because that a burn relies on how considerable the tissue damage is from the burn. Boy burns often can be cure at home without see a health treatment provider. Burns thought about “minor” include first-degree burns and also second-degree burns that space no larger than 2 inches in diameter. Instantly evaluate in a medical setup any other form of burn that covers a bigger area the the skin. A health care provider likewise should evaluate a burn that shows indications of infection, such together oozing indigenous the wound and increased pain, redness and also swelling.

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A first-degree burn requires only the optimal or outer layer that the skin (epidermis). Signs and also symptoms the a first-degree burn incorporate red skin that might be mildly swollen and painful to touch. A second-degree burn entails the exterior layer that the skin and also the next layer of skin (dermis). Signs and also symptoms the this type of burn include pain, swelling, strongly reddened skin, blistering and a splotchy appearance.

For these types of boy burns, note at-home treatment is regularly all it is needed. First, placed the burn under cool (but not cold) running water long enough to mitigate the pain, which might take about 10 to 15 minutes. If to run water no available, immerse the burn in cool water, or use a cool, wet compress. Don’t placed ice straight on the burn. Doing so can cause further damages to the tissue.

Dry the area through a clean cloth, and also apply a sterile, lightly wrapped bandage. Don’t use ointments or butter to a burn, as these can hold warm in the skin — resulting in further damage — in addition to enhancing the hazard of infection. If needed, take it over-the-counter pain medications for ache relief.

If the burn is brought about by a chemical, make sure the chemical, or any clothing or jewel in contact with the chemical, room removed. If possible, usage gloves so that you don’t get burned elsewhere or so the someone helping you doesn’t acquire burned.

Don’t break blisters if castle form. If a blister division inadvertently, to wash the area with soap and water, use an antibiotic ointment, and also cover the area through a bandage. See your health care provider if large blisters develop, as these blisters may need to it is in removed.

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Monitor the burn day-to-day after each gentle washing and also dressing change. Advice the burn for spreading of heat, redness or swelling, which may show a skin infection. If the wound no healing, check out your health treatment provider.

A burn requires prompt medical attention if the covers a big area the the body, or if it requires much that the hands, face, feet, genitals, buttocks, eyes, mouth or a major joint. Second-degree burns larger than 2 inches; an electrical burn; or an ext severe, third-degree burns — whereby skin is melted away, burnt black or appears dry white — all require emergency medical attention. (adapted from Mayo Clinic health and wellness Letter) — Dr. Henry Schiller, Trauma, an important Care and also General Surgery, mei Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota