Whether a hot pan slipped out of your hand or you spent too much time in the sun, a burn might require medical attention depending on the severity of the injury. Our team at iCare ER and Urgent Care is here to assist with medical treatment for minor conditions, as well as emergency situations.
What Caused Your Burn?
While heat is a common cause of burn injuries, other substances can also result in burns: electricity, fire, sun, chemicals, and more. Even if you are proactive about prevention, a burn can happen at home or work. The most common type of burn is a “thermal” burn, caused by scalding liquids, flames, steam, or hot metal.
Even if the burn seems minor, serious complications can develop without proper care. The exposed skin is prone to infection, so it is best to visit an urgent care to consult with a doctor.
Immediate Care for a Burn
First-aid treatment can be used for first- or second-degree burns. Fast action could speed up the healing process.
Follow these tips right away to care for a burn:
- Soak the burn in cool (but not freezing) water for at least 5 minutes
- Take over-the-counter pain medication to reduce the pain
- Apply cooling aloe vera gel on the affected area
- If the skin is broken, then antibiotic ointment and gauze can be used to protect the injury
- Remove tight clothing and jewelry before swelling occurs
- Prevent infection by not breaking the blisters
- Elevate the burned area to minimize swelling
Keep in mind that you should never apply ice or use ice water on a burn because it could damage the skin. Also, never remove clothing if it is stuck to the skin – instead, it is best to visit the nearest emergency room.
Do You Need Medical Care for a Burn?
Here are a few general guidelines to keep in mind when deciding whether you should visit a medical clinic:
- Size of the Burn: The bigger the burn, the most serious the condition. Compare the size of the burn to the surface area of your palm. The palm is about 1% of your skin surface (Body Surface Area, or BSA), so a burn the size of 2 palms means that 2% of the skin surface has been burned. The recommendation is that medical services are needed if burn affects a BSA more than 3% for adults or 2% for children.
- Severity of the Burn: How deep has the skin tissue been damaged? A first-degree burn is a superficial injury that only affects the outer layer of the skin, such as a mild sunburn. A deeper burn that is blistered, swollen, and painful is likely a second-degree burn and requires urgent care services. Emergency services are recommended for third- and fourth-degree burns that destroy the deepest layers of skin and can even affect underlying tissue such as muscle and bone.
- Burn Location: Certain parts of the body have a higher risk of infection when burned. Additionally, it is important to consider how easily you will be able to care for the burn, as well as anatomical considerations that need to be addressed. Visit urgent care if the burn affects the hands, feet, face, genitals, or a joint. Also, medical care is recommended if the burn goes all the way around a digit or limb.
- Patient Health: Another important factor in burn care is determining the overall health of the patient. People with preexisting conditions such as diabetes or chronic medical issues should seek medical care due to prolonged healing. It is also recommended to visit urgent care when older adults or infants are burned.
Urgent Care Services for Burn Injuries
If you or a loved one has been burned, then don’t delay medical care. We have convenient medical clinics in Frisco or Fort Worth, with board-certified doctors ready to provide treatment. iCare ER and Urgent Care is unique because we provide everything from basic medical treatments to trauma care.
Our offices are open during regular business hours, with extended hours in the evenings and weekends. Do you need treatment for a burn? Use our online sign-in form to visit our urgent care, or walk-ins are always welcome. Call iCare ER and Urgent Care for information about available services: (214) 407-8668.