Burns – Types & Treatments
A burn can occur in a split second. Burns can be caused by scalding water, hot burner, open flame, electrical connection, chemical spill, radiation, or even too much time in the sun that results in painful or even debilitating burns. Each year, 1.1 million people are treated for burn injuries.1 At Medco ER & Urgent Care in Plano, TX, our board-certified physicians are here all day and night to provide quality care for burns and other injuries.
“Burns are especially painful and can be hard to judge the severity at home,” said Medco ER & Urgent Care’s Medical Director, Dr. Nasir Khan. “That’s why we recommend you come in and have us evaluate the injury and provide rapid treatment to try to help reduce the pain and speed recovery.”
Types of Burns
First degree burns are the least severe and involve only the outer layer of skin, or epidermis and will cause redness and possibly minor blisters. Sunburns, grease spatters and coffee spills are examples of causes of first degree burns. They can be very painful but usually heal within several days without going to the doctor. If these burns cover more than 3 inches, consult with a physician.
Second degree burns involve both the epidermis and the next layer, the dermis. These burns swell rapidly and have more blistering and redness than first degree burns. They also can look glossy or weep fluid. Seek immediate medical attention for these burns.
Third degree burns are serious burns that require immediate medical attention. They involve the epidermis, dermis and fat layer. The burn area can look dry and leathery and tan, white, red or black in color. The skin may look charred. These burns are so deep that the patient may not feel how serious it is. Take the person to the nearest ER for emergency treatment.
Treatment of Burns
At home: Clothing and jewelry should be immediately removed from the injured area since burns swell quickly and circulation or breathing could be restricted. Cool water or compresses can give some pain relief. Elevate the wound.
At the ER: your physician will treat the burn with antibiotics and follow protocol to keep the body supplied with hydration and concentrated nutrients needed for healing. Your physician may discuss how to start the process of receiving skin grafts and a splint may be added to keep the area from moving during early treatment. Later, hyperbaric oxygen therapy and other therapies may be recommended to encourage healing.
Prevention is key when considering injuries as painful and serious as burns. Children and older adults are at greater risk for being injured by burns or scalds. That’s why it’s important to spend some time considering how to best use safety precautions in your home. Practice safety measures when cooking, carrying hot liquids, filling bathtubs and serving food to children. Adjust the hot water heater to safe temperatures. Keep matches and lighters out of reach and be careful with candles and cigarettes.3
Teach children fire safety basics, such as Stop-Drop-and Roll, and practice your evacuation plan. Most fire stations have workshops for children to learn fire safety practices.
Keep hot irons, hair straighteners, etc., out of the reach of children. Cover outlets and put away electrical cords not in use. Keep children away from grills, outdoor fires, radiators and space heaters.
Enjoy taking the family to city fireworks and avoid doing fireworks at home. Install working fire alarms and fire extinguishers.
Get fast help at Medco ER & Urgent Care
Even with the best precautions in place, burns still happen. When someone receives a burn injury, come immediately to Medco ER & Urgent Care for quality care. We’re always open and ready to help when you need it.
- Plano location:
3960 Legacy Drive, Plano TX 75023 (on the corner of Legacy and Coit Road)
Call us @ 469-392-4000