October is National Fire Prevention Month, and there is no better time to be aware of damage a fire can do. While people lose homes or valuable items to fires, those things can be replaced. Your health, on the other hand, is much more delicate. Burn injuries can alter your life, leaving you in pain or unable to make a living to support you and your family.
Taking your eyes off a fire for even a moment can cause major damage and injury. Educating yourself about the different types of burns and how to treat them can help you or a loved one avoid a lot of pain and suffering.
FIRST DEGREE BURNS
This burn is an injury to your top layer of skin and normally won’t require urgent care. First degree burns are called “superficial burns” because they only affect the top layer of skin. First degree burns usually heal in under a week. You should see a doctor if you have a large first degree burn (more than 3 inches), or if the burn is on your face. First degree burns can be treated at home with items from a drug store. Here are the steps to take to treat a first degree burn:
- Soak the wound in cool water for five minutes or longer
- Take aspirin (acetaminophen or ibuprofen) for pain relief
- Use aloe vera to soothe the skin
- Use an antibiotic ointment and loose gauze to protect the affected area
SECOND DEGREE BURNS
This type of burn requires an urgent visit to the doctor. Second degree burns can be divided into two main categories, superficial and deep. Superficial second degree burns will recover with the help of any topical cream, like an antibiotic ointment. Deep second degree burns are more serious because the damage extends beyond the top layer of skin. Second-degree burns need more care and bandaging to prevent infections and will take longer to heal. Here are the steps to treat a second degree burns:
- Run cool water over the skin for 15 minutes or longer
- Take over-the-counter pain medication (acetaminophen or ibuprofen)
- Apply antibiotic cream to blisters
THIRD DEGREE BURNS
Third-degree burns are the worst burns. They cause the most damage, going through every layer of skin. Burns can even reach the bloodstream, major organs, and bones, which can lead to death. This burn will definitely leave a scar, even with the best medical treatment. If it looks like you’ve burned away layers of skin, call 911 or go to an ER immediately.
DO NOT TRY TO TREAT A THIRD DEGREE BURN.
GET A LAWYER ON YOUR SIDE
Burn injuries are impossible to anticipate, but you can be ready by knowing what to do when you’re injured. Using the safety tips above can help you or a loved one. If you have any questions about burn injuries, don’t hesitate to contact Williams & Brown LLP
We can be reached at (888) 741-6200.