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

Last December, the virus that’s now known as COVID-19 made the jump from animal to human for the first time. What started as a cluster of pneumonia cases near a seafood and live animal market in Wuhan, China, soon spread into a full-blown “public health emergency.” Since then, the bustling capi...

Consumers continue to prove that they’re hungry for more information about their healthcare and want increased and more convenient access to providers. For the past two decades, many healthcare technologies were confusing, complicated, and required too many clunky steps to do tasks that should be...

If you chose to get a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) as part of your insurance benefits through your employer, then time is running out to spend those pre-tax dollars that can go toward medical expenses like copays, prescriptions, chiropractor visits, LASIK surgery, and much more. FSAs are a gre...