Burns is tissue damage caused by heat, excessive exposure to the sun or other rays, or chemical or electrical contact. Burns can be a minor medical issue or can become a life-threatening emergency. Burns are treated depending on the severity, location, and damage to the body.
Common Causes of Burns
Natural or environmental conditions, such as fire, heat, sun exposure, hot liquid, or steam can cause severe burn damage. Appliances, materials, equipment, or other work-related causes include electricity, chemicals, and radiation, which can lead to burns if safety precautions are not taken into account. Such burns can be excruciating and require emergency medical treatment.
Types of Burn
A burn is a common skin injury that can range from mild to severe. If you have had a mild burn, you may be able to treat it at home with cool water, cold pressures, and pain relief. However, if you have a severe burn injury that persists without healing or remains very painful, it is best to visit your nearest emergency room.
Understanding the Degrees of Burns
- First-degree Burn: This minor burn only affects the skin's outer layer (epidermis). It can cause redness and pain. Due to this type of burn, the skin will be red and irritated, but no spots. Rarely do they need treatment in the emergency room.
- Second-degree Burns: This type of burn affects both the epidermis and the dermis. It can cause inflammation and red, white or light skin. The blisters may increase, and the pain may worsen. A second deep heat can cause scarring. In case a burn covers a large area, emergency room treatment may be required.
- Third-degree Burn: High-intensity burn that reaches the fat layer under the skin. The burnt areas can be black, brown, or white. The skin may appear leathery. These burns can damage nerves, cause numbness, and emergency medical attention will always be needed.
Symptoms of Burns
- Severe or debilitating pain
- Burns that cover large areas of your body
- Burn injuries caused by the exposure to radiation or chemical
- Burns associated with other injuries
- Shortness of breath, dizziness or weakness, and Nausea or vomiting can also be observed
Healing of Burns
Healing minor burns with red skin like sunburn should take three to five days to recover. The second-degree burns should be cured within ten days. If the burn lasts more than two weeks, you should seek treatment from a healthcare provider. The healing time of about three weeks indicates a deep burn that can be scarred if not appropriately treated. It is crucial to remain concerned about the burn area to avoid infection while still in the treatment process.
When to Seek ER medical assistance for burn
Take first aid measures while you wait for emergency care. For quick and reliable treatment, you can visit nearby emergency rooms
- If burns are covering the essential body parts, major joints, and large area of the body
- If it is a deep burn, meaning burn that affects all layers of skin or deep tissues
- If burns make the skin appear leathery
- If burns that appear scorched or is with black, brown, or white spots
- If severe burns and damage is caused by chemicals or electricity
- If a person faces difficulty in breathing due to burns in the airways
Complications of burns include
- Bacterial infections, which can lead to sepsis
- Hypovolemia or Loss of fluid, including low blood pressure
- Hypothermia or Harmful low body temperature
- Respiratory problems with inhalation of hot air or smoke
- Scars or charred areas caused by an increase in tissue damage
- When damaged tissue causes thinning and tightening of the skin, muscles, or tendons
- Bone and joint problems due to burn injuries
Managing Burns in the Emergency Room
Treatment of burns depends on the severity of the injury and burn type. Depending on the size, degree, and size of the burner, emergency rooms may use different treatment options. While first and second-degree burns can be cured without healthcare providers' intervention. But it is better to be safe than sorry. Therefore treatment within 24 hours is necessary to avoid possible damage later on. Patients who have experienced any of the emergency symptoms should seek immediate medical attention to relieve the discomfort
If a burn has injured you, please visit our emergency room immediately. Crescent Medical Center has a vigilant staff to deal with both major and minor burns' heat injuries. In case of an emergency, visit or call us at 972-338-4715. We are here to help 24/7.