Treating Skin Burn Injuries

open fire grilling hot dogsOne of the fastest and most dangerous ways to damage your skin is to expose it to intense heat or fire that can burn it. Even certain chemicals, radiation, and electricity can burn.

Sometimes the burn isn’t significant and can be treated with over-the-counter medications or home remedies. But skin burns can get so bad that you may have to consult a physician, dermatologist, or plastic surgeon. In this article, I’ll discuss skin safety, types of burns, and treatment.

The most common place that you’re likely to get your skinned burned is around the house. It could happen in your kitchen or bathroom, or just from doing things like grilling outdoors, which happens a lot in South Florida.

High-Risk Burn Areas

In the Kitchen

The oven range, stovetop burners, and microwave oven are designed to produce high heat for food preparation. These are areas where small children should be watched or in a different room while these appliances are in operation.

In addition, the handles of pots, pans, and other dishes can get surprisingly hot. So it’s wise to use dishcloths when touching handles or lids. You should also have a fire extinguisher handy in case a fire gets out of control. This can happen if there is excessive grease splatter.

In the Bathroom

Of course, there are no open fires in the vast majority of bathrooms. But the culprit here is hot water. If the hot water heater temp is not regulated, a small child could easily and quickly be burned if they jump into a tub of near boiling water.

Therefore, you should always test the water as it is flowing out of the faucet and then again when a tub or sink is filled. And by all means, set your hot water heater to around 115 degrees or less.

Around the House

If you’re grilling outdoors, you know that grills, especially gas grills, can get very hot. The one I have can easily approach 700 degrees for searing purposes. Plus it has an open flame side station for additional cooking.

You should be very careful with grills. The fat from meats can drip down on the flames and can cause them to blow upward in near fireballs.

burning fire

Types of Burns

There are 4 types of burn injuries – first degree through fourth degree. Most people tend to recognize only three but there is one more.

The mildest skin burn injury is first degree. But don’t get confused because even this level of burn could require medical attention.

However, the normal signs of a first degree burn are pain and redness to the outermost layer of the skin. There probably won’t be any blisters and it can take 3 to 5 days to heal.

Next is second degree burns. In this case, multiple skin layers of the epidermis will be damaged. There will definitely be some blistering and the skin will be reddish and wet in appearance. Medical attention will be required and it could take two or three weeks for the burns to heal.

(Note: If you live in South Florida around the Parkland and Margate area or are otherwise seeking urgent care near Coral Springs, then consider saving a bit of money by visiting a walk in clinic which can usually take care of any minor burns.)

Third, you have third degree burns. This is where all layers of your skin are burned. The skin will look and feel leathery, and you may not even feel pain due to the extensive nerve damage.

You’ll have to be hospitalized and it will take skin grafting and other extreme measures to bring you back to health. A surgical dermatologist or plastic surgeon may have to be called in.

Finally, there is a fourth degree level of skin burning. While third degree burns affect the entire skin, fourth degree goes deeper in damaging the muscle and bone.

In conclusion, skin burns can be very serious, even life-threatening. If it’s a minor case, you can get it treated by your regular physician or visit a walk in clinic. But if it’s severe, then you should visit a hospital emergency room for immediate attention.

Have a health issue that needs immediate attention? Visit a Coral Springs walk in clinic. No appointment required. Fast response by a board certified physician.