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​Burns are among the top causes of deaths and injuries in the United States, according to the American Burn Association. While you can treat superficial burns at home, you need immediate medical care for significant burns.

If you have suffered a burn injury, Legacy ER & Urgent Care is here to help. We have six fully equipped emergency room and urgent care facilities staffed with ER-trained physicians ready to provide immediate care.

Causes of Burns

Many people experience burns from thermal sources, such as fire or touching hot surfaces. Other causes include:

  • Burned hand​Chemicals
  • Radiation
  • Electricity
  • Sunlight

1st-degree Burns

A first-degree burn is superficial, only impacting the skin’s outer layer (epidermis). The burn site might be:

  • Red
  • Painful
  • Dry

However, there aren’t any blisters, and the injury should respond to minor burn treatment.

2nd-degree Burns

A second-degree burn is also called a partial thickness burn. Along with the epidermis, the burn impacts part of the skin’s dermis layer.

You’ll experience:

  • Redness
  • Blisters
  • Swelling
  • Pain

You might be able to treat the burn at home. However, if the burn isn’t isolated to a small area, seek medical treatment. A physician will clean and assess the wound. Also, if the blisters have popped, your wound might need to be debrided. The physician can also help with pain management since second-degree burns can hurt quite a bit.

3rd-degree Burns

A third-degree, or full-thickness, burn is the most serious and requires immediate medical attention. Along with destroying the dermis and epidermis, a third-degree burn can damage tendons, muscles, and bones. It also destroys nerve endings, so the area can lose sensation.

Third-degree burns are life-threatening, so go to the emergency room as soon as the burn occurs. Your doctor needs to provide fluids to prevent shock and dehydration. You’ll likely require a skin graft as well.

How to Treat a Burn at Home

You can treat some burns at home. If you require minor burn treatment, you can:

  • Use cold water or a wet compress to cool the skin.
  • Use petroleum jelly up to three times daily to lubricate the skin.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment.
  • Cover the burn with a sterile, nonstick bandage or loose gauze.
  • Protect the skin from the sun.
  • Take ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain reliever.

While third-degree burns are always medical emergencies, second-degree burns can be serious as well. Assess your symptoms, and head to Legacy ER & Urgent Care immediately if you need a physician’s help. Our ER-trained physicians can stabilize you, provide pain relief, and develop a treatment plan.