Burns
Types, Symptoms, Causes, Questions & Related Topics

Every year more than 3 million Americans seek treatment for burns. Whether you’re cooking dinner on the stove, curling your hair to get ready for a night out, or lighting a candle, doing everyday tasks come with the risk of getting burned. Heat burns – burns caused by fire, steam, hot liquids, or hot objects – are the most widely known type of burn. However, there are many different types of burns.

Types of Burns:

  • Electrical burns, which are caused by contact with an electrical source or lightning
  • Friction burns (also known as “road rash”), which are caused by contact with hard surfaces such as roads, carpets, and gym floors
  • Cold burns, which are caused by contact with extreme cold, wet, or windy conditions
  • Chemical burns, which are caused by contact with certain household or industrial chemicals
  • Radiation burns, which are caused by exposure to the sun (sunburns), tanning booths, X-rays, and radiation therapy

All types of burns are broken down into different levels categorized from minor to severe:

  • First-degree burns: These types of burn affect only the outer layer of the skin and can typically be treated with at-home remedies.
  • Second-degree burns: Second-degree burns can be treated as minor burn if they’re smaller than three inches in diameter or if it doesn’t cover a major joint, your hands, feet, or face. These types of burns affect the inner and outer layer of skin and typically cause the skin to blister.
  • Third-degree burns: These types of burns always require professional medical attention, as they affect all layers of the skin and underlying tissue.
  • Fourth-degree burns: The most severe type of burn, fourth-degree burns affect all layers of the skin and underlying ligaments, tendons, nerves, blood vessels and bones.

If you have a minor burn, home treatment options include:

  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen (Advil®), acetaminophen (Tylenol®), or naproxen sodium (Aleve)
  • Holding the affected area under cool running water until the pain passes to help cool the burn
  • Applying aloe vera lotion to the affected area to moisturize the burn and keep it cool

Urgent care centers are able to treat minor burns (first-degree or small second-degree burns), while third-degree and fourth-degree burns are better treated at the emergency room.

Recommended Reading

Before we dive in, the quick answer is, yes, you CAN get an STD test at urgent care. Some benefits of going to urgent care: You can get same-day, walk-in care You can book an appointment online and save even more time Urgent care centers can treat you discreetly From the time yo...

Did you know that, on average, between 5 and 20% of people in the United States get the flu each year? That’s roughly 16 to 64 million people. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 200 thousand of those people are hospitalized due to complications from the flu, whi...

It's November, which means the holiday season is nearly here. With all the joy and family gatherings the holidays bring comes injuries and illness, too. Keep your family healthy this year by understanding - and avoiding - the most common holiday accidents. But if you find yourself needing medi...