Burns

What is a burn?

A burn occurs when body tissue is damaged by heat, flame, steam, sunlight, radiation, friction, chemicals or electricity. Immediate care of a burn can be lifesaving. A burn can range from being a first-degree, seconddegree, or a thirddegree burn.


What are the different types of burns and treatment?

  • Firstdegree burns- This type of burn is normally red, dry and no blisters. Usually impacts only the first layer of skin.
  • Treatment- Apply cool compress and may take over-the-counter medications may help relieve pain.
  • Seconddegree burns- This type of burn can cause possible loss of some of the skin, red, leaking fluid, and blisters. Multiple layers of skin are damaged.
  • Treatment- Immerse in cool water, and may apply a cool compress for 10-15 minutes. Take steps to elevate the burned arm or leg if possible. Do not pop or drain a blister. This type of burn is at risk of becoming infected, so may require antibiotics.
  • Thirddegree burns- This type of burn causes loss of skin layers. It may look white, blackened or charred. Sometimes the skin is dry and leathery. Damage extends to the deepest layers of skin and possibly the tissue beneath.
  • Treatment- Seek immediate medical attention for this type of burn. Don’t apply ointments or butter to the burn as it may cause infection. Cover the burn with a clean light cloth. Try to keep the person calm, warm and comfortable. Call 911 if the patient has any difficulties breathing or passes out.


Patient First treats many injuries at our urgent care centers including non-life threatening burns. You can visit any Patient First center from 8 a.m. to 8 pm, any day of the week – no appointment is needed