Burns are extremely painful. The sooner the treatment initiated, the better the results will be. This minimizes the chance of scarring and chronic pain. There are three types of burn injuries.
First degree burns:
This is a result of only the outer layer of the skin being affected. An example of this type of burn would be sunburn. Usually these are painful with redness and minimal swelling. Typically you need no treatment except for Aloe Vera gel, Motrin or Tylenol. These injuries heal within a few days with no complications.
Second degree burn:
These are injuries that cause more redness, pain, swelling and in addition blistering of the skin. These are a result of the outer and the middle layers of the skin being affected. These injuries require medical attention. If not treated appropriately they end up with infection, scarring and prolonged healing periods. Here at our clinic, our trained staff will help clean the burns, apply antibiotic ointment or cream and dress up the wounds. A Tetanus shot will be given if immunization is not up to date. A prescription might also be given for pain relief. Follow up of these wounds is very important, as they do require frequent dressing changes. These also avoid the potential for complications, as our staff is always on the lookout for them and are well versed in these injuries.
Third degree burns:
The full thickness of the skin is affected and might in addition include the deeper layers such as, the fatty layer, muscle and even bone. If only a small area is involved then these can be treated at an urgent care facility or a doctor’s office. If not, these are best treated at a specialized burn center. These injuries are severe and need immediate medical attention, especially if they cover a large area. Pain is usually severe and the skin generally looks white or charred in color. These injuries may require prolonged treatment and even skin grafting. The potential for infection, scarring and other complications is great. If not sure where to take the patient after such injury, one should immediately call a medical facility, describe the burn injury and get instructions.
The most important thing to know is that large second degree burns and usually all third degree burns need immediate medical treatment. Our clinic is ready to help you with injuries that can be treated at a medical clinic.
Here at Medical Care San Diego we are happy to answer any of your questions. Dr. Mann is well versed in burn wound care and has gone through extensive training in burn injuries and management.