If you have experienced a burn and are seeking treatment, a doctor will examine your skin to assess the severity of your burn. They will check for other injuries and may order lab tests, X-rays, or other diagnostic procedures.
Most minor burns can be treated at home and will heal within a few weeks. Treatment for more serious burns may involve medications, wound dressings, therapy, and surgery. The ultimate goal is to prevent infection, remove dead tissue, control pain, reduce scarring risk, and regain function. Your medical care may include products intended to encourage healing, such as the following:
- Fluids: You may need IV fluids to prevent dehydration and organ failure.
- Burn creams/ointments: Topical products such as bacitracin and silver sulfadiazine (Silvadene) may be used for wound healing to prevent infection and prepare the wound to close.
- Dressings: Various specialty wound dressings may be used to prepare the wound to heal.
- Drugs to fight infection: You may need IV antibiotics if you develop an infection.
- Tetanus shot: A tetanus shot may be recommended by your doctor after a burn injury.
- Pain and anxiety medications: Healing burns can be painful, so you may need morphine and anti-anxiety medications.
If you have a minor burn, follow these steps for treating burns at home:
- Cool down: Hold the burned area under cool running water or apply a cool, wet compress. Do not use ice or cold water. Placing ice directly on a burn can cause further damage to the tissue.
- Remove jewelry: Remove rings or other tight items near the site of the burn. Try to do so gently and quickly, before the area swells.
- Don’t break blisters: Fluid-filled blisters protect against infection, so do not break them. If a blister breaks, clean the area with water and apply an antibiotic ointment.
- Lotion: Apply a lotion that contains aloe vera or a moisturizer once the burn is completely cooled.
- Bandage: Loosely wrap the burn with a sterile gauze bandage to keep air off the area, reduce pain, and protect blistered skin.
- Pain relief: Over the counter medications can help relieve pain, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin IB), naproxen sodium (Aleve), or acetaminophen (Tylenol).
Greenville Health Care
Greenville Health Care is a Family Practice and walk-in Medical Clinic dedicated to serving the citizens of Greenville and surrounding counties with excellent, timely, and compassionate patient care. Contact us today!