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How to Treat a Burn Injury

Whether you received a burn injury from an unsafe work environment or a defective product, acting quickly and wisely can help reduce your pain, recovery time, and potential impairments. To do that, you will need to know how to identify and treat the burn. If left untreated, these injuries can lead to serious health problems in the future.

Below, our personal injury attorneys explain how to treat each type of burn.

First-Degree Burns

First-degree burns are mild compared to second- and third-degree burns, damaging only the outer layer of skin. As such, these burns can usually be treated at home. Symptoms may include redness, minor swelling, pain, and peeling skin.

First-degree burns are also called “superficial burns” because they only affect the top layer of skin and typically heal within a week without scarring.

At-home treatments include:

  • Soaking the wounded area in cool water for five minutes or longer
  • Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen
  • Applying aloe vera gel or cream to soothe the skin
  • Using antibiotic ointment with a loose gauze to protect the wound

Second-Degree Burns

With second-degree burns, the damage goes deeper than the top layer of skin, often leading to blistering. Although these burns are more serious, most heal within a couple of weeks without scarring. In some cases, however, there may be a slight discoloring to the skin.

Treatments include:

  • Running the wounded area in cool water for 15 minutes or longer
  • Taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen
  • Applying antibiotic cream to the blisters

Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree burns cause the most damage and extend to the deepest layer of skin and tissues. Without medical care, these wounds won’t heal properly and will lead to severe scarring.

If you have sustained third-degree burns, call 911 immediately or go to the hospital. Most likely, the burn victim will require skin grafting. Doctors may also administer intravenous (IV) antibiotics to prevent infection and IV fluids to hydrate the body again.

Severe burns are a form of catastrophic injury that can require long recovery times, lingering impairments, and diminished quality of life. If you received a serious burn injury due to another’s carelessness, it’s important to speak with our San Jose personal injury lawyers at Caputo and Van Der Walde – Injury & Accident Attorneys to learn about your legal options.