How Serious Is Your Burn?
Burns can be painful, debilitating or deadly, depending on the severity of the injury. While some burns can be treated at home, others require timely medical attention. To keep yourself and your family safe, it's important to know how to assess the seriousness of a burn, so you can get help when you need it, either at PhysicianOne Urgent Care for minor burns, or the Emergency Room for major, life-threatening burns.
First-degree Burns: Affecting only the outer layer of the skin, first-degree burns can cause swelling, redness and pain. These types of burns often occur when someone touches hot water or a hot pan for only a moment. Mild sunburns are also considered to be first-degree burns.
Whatever the cause, symptoms should only last 48 to 72 hours, and may include dry or peeling skin. Cool (not iced) compresses, ointments and lotions are usually enough to treat first-degree burns. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen can also be used to reduce pain. If your pain and symptoms persist longer than 48 hours, PhysicianOne Urgent Care providers should take a look at affected area.
Second-degree Burns: With these types of burns, both the outer and second layers of skin (dermis) are affected. Symptoms include blisters, along with pain and very red or blotchy skin. If the burn is less than three inches in diameter, it can be treated at home; however, if it is larger than three inches, you should seek medical attention at PhysicianOne Urgent Care. You should also seek medical attention if you notice fever, redness, oozing or increasing pain; or if you experience a burn on the feet, hands, groin, face, buttocks or over a major joint.
Third- and Fourth-degree Burns: With these types of injuries, emergency medical care is a must. When a third- or fourth-degree burn occurs, it means the injury involves the outer layer of the skin, along with the dermis, muscles, bones, and/or tendons. While they are usually very painful, severe burns may sometimes cause little pain if the nerves have been destroyed. With fourth-degree burns, the wound will look stiff and extend deep within subcutaneous fat, muscle and bone.
Without quick treatment, third- and fourth-degree burns can be fatal. If you or a family member endures a very serious burn, visit the ER right away. On the other hand, for minor burns (first and second-degree burns) and injuries, PhysicianOne Urgent Care provides convenient, expert walk-in treatments for a fraction of the cost of the average ER visit.
We understand being sick or injured is not convenient, and it’s not always easy to access your primary care doctor right away, or appropriate to head to the Emergency Department. PhysicianOne Urgent Care is here to help. We offer walk-in care, extended hours and the immediate treatment of urgent, but not life-threatening illnesses and injuries. Contact us at 1.855.349.2828 or visit the PhysicianOne Urgent Care nearest you.