When To Seek Medical Attention for Your Burns

Chances are, most of us have experienced some type of burn throughout our lifetime. Fortunately, most common burns, like sunburn, are superficial and just affect the top layer of our skin. However, more serious burns can do significant damage to the many layers of tissue, muscle and bone beneath our largest organ.

Burns are categorized into degrees ranging from first- to sixth-degree burns. The degree of burn you have depends on the extent of the damage to your body. Minor burns can be typically treated at an urgent care center, whereas major burns require considerable medical attention. Knowing the different types of burns can help you determine your emergency care needs and seek treatment quickly.

Types of minor burns include:

  • First-degree burns only involve the top layer of skin (the epidermis). Sunburn and scalds (burns from hot liquid) are common types of first-degree burns. These burns typically present with redness, pain, itching and mild peeling. They typically heal on their own within a week.
  • Second-degree burns affect both the epidermis and second layers of skin (the dermis). Burned skin appears red, white or splotchy and may develop into blisters. While second-degree burns may heal on their own, they can also require a skin graft to shield the damaged skin as it heals.

Types of major burns that require extensive medical attention from a specialized burn unit or emergency department include: 

  • Third-degree burns damage the tissue through the sweat glands and hair follicles. Chemical burns, burns from direct flame and prolonged contact burns tend to be third-degree burns. These burns always require a skin graft to heal and may need more extensive medical attention.
  • Fourth-degree burns damage fat tissue and nerves. These burns may appear similarly to third-degree burns, with red, white or charred skin on and around the burn. You may also see exposed bone or tissue. Fourth-degree burns are not typically painful because the nerve endings in the area are typically destroyed. These burns require immediate medical attention. Fourth-degree burns are potentially life-threatening but are not as fatal as fifth- and sixth-degree burns.

If you or someone you know has been severely burned, please call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room for care for your burn and immediate medical attention.

At Home Care for Burns

It is important to apply minor burn care at home to promote proper healing and prevent infection.

To perform burn injury first-aid at home:

  • Cool the burned area under running water for about 10 minutes right after the burn occurs.
  • Apply lotion. Aloe vera and coconut oil specifically can provide immediate relief and prevent drying.
  • Cover the burn. Apply a sterile bandage to protect the skin and prevent infection.
  • Do not pop blisters. Although blisters can be frustrating, resist the urge to pop them. Blisters protect the skin from infection and act as a barrier between the burn and bacteria. If your blister does pop, cleanse the area with clean water and an antibacterial ointment. Keep the blister bandaged until it heals.

Urgent Care for Burns

The team at TexomaCare Urgent Care provides minor burn treatment and comes up with a treatment plan. Your care team can also help prevent your burns from becoming infected and causing long-term skin damage. Minor burn treatment can include non-prescription pain relievers, ointments and bandaging.

Contact Us Now

TexomaCare Urgent Care, located in Denison, Texas, and Durant, Oklahoma, is open seven days a week. We offer convenient daytime and evening hours. Our team of medical professionals is here to help provide patients with urgent care for minor burns.