When to Seek Medical Assistance for a Burn

Monday, January 10th, 2022, 2:48 am

Accidents happen, and burns are an injury that can happen in the blink of an eye. Whether you accidentally grab a hot pan or spend too much time out in the sun, a burn can cause serious pain. 

Burns range in severity and are classified as either a first-degree, second-degree, or third-degree burn. To ensure that it heals properly, it’s important to know when you need to seek medical care for a burn. Here, we’ll explore this topic so that you can receive the care that you need for future injuries. 

Factors to Consider Before Seeking Medical Care for a Burn

To determine what kind of care that you need for a burn, consider these factors:

The Depth of the Burn

Burns are classified by depth. First-degree burns affect the epidermis, which is the outer layer of the skin. Second-degree burns reach the epidermis and part of the dermis, which is the lower layer of the skin. Third-degree burns go through both the epidermis and the dermis, and may reach the next layer of the skin, the subcutaneous tissue. 

While first-degree burns can often heal with at-home treatment alone, second and third-degree burns require immediate medical care. If the burn is third-degree or worse, the patient generally will need to go to the emergency room. 

The Size of the Burn

The size of the burn, meaning how much of the skin it spreads across, is also a factor to consider. Burns that are large and/or spread across a significant portion of the skin are often more dangerous. If the burn is bigger than the size of your hand, you should head to the ER. 

The Location of the Burn

Some parts of the body are more likely to become infected than others, including the hands, feet, face, and genitals. This also makes burns in these areas more difficult to treat. Burns that extend all of the way around a limb, toe, finger, or over a joint may also require more extensive medical care. In any of these cases, you should seek out medical care for the burn. 

At Suncoast Urgent Care, we offer immediate care for burns. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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Category: Injuries

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