Although some minor burns aren't cause for concern and can be safely treated at home, other more serious burns require medical care. But taking some simple precautions to make your home safer can prevent many burns.
The first step in helping to prevent anyone from getting burned is to understand these common causes of burns:
* Scalds, the number one cause (from steam, hot bath water, tipped-over coffee cups, hot foods, cooking fluids, etc.)
* Contact with flames or hot objects (from the stove, fireplace, curling iron, etc.)
* Chemical burns (from swallowing things, like drain cleaner or watch batteries, or spilling chemicals, such as bleach, onto the skin)
* Electrical burns (from biting on electrical cords or sticking fingers or objects in electrical outlets, etc.)
* Overexposure to the sun.
Types of Burns
Burns are categorized as first, second, or third-degree, depending on how badly the skin is damaged. Each of the injuries above can cause any of these three types of burns. But both the type of burn and its cause will determine how the burn is treated.
* First-degree burns damage only the outer layer of skin
* Signs and symptoms: These burns produce redness, pain, and minor swelling. The skin is dry without blisters.
* Healing time: Healing time is about 3 to 6 days; the top layer over the burn may peel off in 1 or 2 days.
* Second-degree burns damage the outer layer and the layer underneath
* Signs and symptoms: These burns cause blisters, severe pain, and redness. The blisters sometimes break open and the area is wet looking with a bright pink to red color.
* Healing time: Healing time depends on the severity of the burn. It can take up to 3 weeks or more.
* Third-degree burns damage or destroy the deepest layer of skin and tissues underneath
* Signs and symptoms: The surface appears dry and can look waxy white, leathery, brown, or charred....