A burn is an injury to the skin, mostly caused by heat, but can also be caused by chemicals or electricity. It can also harm or destroy muscle, tissue, and bone under the skin. Additionally, children have thinner skin which burns at a lower temperature and in less time than adult skin. Protect your skin by learning about the different types of burns and how to treat them.
Most people think of burns in degrees: first, second, and third. Doctors and nurses use these terms to talk about how thick and how bad the burn is. A first degree burn can be minor or moderate. This depends on how much of the body the burn covers and how
deep it is.
Immediately and safely remove the person or yourself away from the heat source to stop the burning. Cool the burn down with cool water for 20 minutes. You might increase damage to the area if the ice or ice water is used. Avoid placing greasy or creamy substances on the burn. Cover with a dry, nonstick, sterile bandage.
While it may be very tempting, DO NOT pop the blisters on burn. Popping a blister creates an easy and accessible pathway for bacteria to get into the wound. Allowing your body to do what it does best by sending healing cells to the area.
As a general rule, if the size of the wound is bigger than the palm of your hand it may need a second opinion or further evaluation. If the burn occurs around the eyes, nose, ears, toes, and fingers, regardless of size, it’s recommended that a healthcare provider provide an evaluation since the wound may become problematic. Finally, if you notice symptoms of the wound becoming infected (i.e. increased pain, fevering, streaking redness, etc.) you should see a physician.
Using Neosporin or other topical ointment isn’t necessarily required in all situations. Sometimes, using it excessively can keep the wound moist and can delay the healing process to some degree. If you initially cleaned the wound and can keep it clean and dry, you may not need an antibiotic ointment at all.
"Don't hold them in your hand." -- Tom White, MD, Intermountain Healthcare trauma surgeon