Second Degree Burns Initial First Aid Treatment

woman burns hand on oven
Many people enjoy cooking especially during the holidays. Unfortunately, some people may experience a burn while cooking. Learn how to treat second-degree burns according to the  American Burn Association’s Burn Prevention Committee.

There are three types of burns one can experience: first-degree (superficial burns), second-degree (partial thickness burns) and third-degree (full-thickness burns). It is important to treat all burns correctly. If not treated properly, an infection can occur.


What Is a Second-Degree Burn?

There are three main layers of skin with the middle layer being the dermis. Second-degree burns involve this second layer of skin. The skin can appear very red, form blisters, swell and cause pain.

If the burn is larger than 2-3 inches or is located on the face, feet, eye, ear, groin or over a major joint, seek medical attention immediately.


First Aid for The Burn

There are several things you should do immediately after getting a second-degree burn:

  • Place the burn under cool running water for at least 5 minutes (not cold water).
  • Remove all excess clothing and accessories from around the burned area.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • Drink plenty of fluids.

There are also several things that you should not do after getting a second-degree burn:

  • Do not ice the burn as this can further damage the skin.
  • Do not break the blisters.
  • Never put butter on a burn.
  • Avoid wrapping the burn tightly with gauze as this can put pressure on the burn tissue.

After following these tips, your burn should heal without any further treatment. For a minor second-degree burn, it may take several days to heal. If you have a fever or pain that cannot be lessened by medication, contact your doctor immediately. Also, report any increase in drainage or pus from the burn sites.

Continue to monitor the area, keep it clean and change the dressings daily. Medicated creams and ointments may be ordered by your physician and picked up at the pharmacy.

Finally, remember to be careful while cooking or baking and have a nice holiday season.

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*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.