When to Seek Medical Attention for a Burn

when to seek medical attention for a burn

Each year there are an estimated 486,000 people that suffer burns where medical treatment is needed. And that’s only the people who actually seek medical treatment. This is not including those who try to treat themselves.

Accidents happen all the time, especially for those who like to be in the kitchen a lot. But if an accident does happen, how do you know when to seek medical attention for a burn?

There are various levels of burn, but it’s hard to distinguish them in the beginning. Keep reading to find out when you should go to the doctor for your burn!

When to Seek Medical Attention for a Burn

It can be hard to tell how serious your burn is within the first 48 hours. Something that looks really bad, could be something more surface level. But something that doesn’t look bad on the surface, could cause serious nerve damage underneath. 

When it comes to burns, you almost never want to self-diagnose. Here are some things to help you know when to go to urgent care for a burn.

Take All Burns Seriously

While you may only believe you have first or second degree burns, there is always a chance that there is worse damage under the initial surface burn. If you believe you have anywhere close to a second-degree burn or worse, you should head to an urgent care or ER to have it looked at.

Immediate First-Aid

The first thing you want to do is stop the burn from continuing. Your skin will keep burning as long affected area is hot. Run the burned area under cool water for about 20 minutes immediately after the burn occurs.

Try to remove any clothes around the area of the burn, unless the clothes are stuck to the skin. If this is the case then run both the burn and the clothes under the cool running water.

If the burn is electrical or caused by a liquid or chemical, seek a doctor’s advice on how to proceed. Especially with an electrical burn, which can often be much worse under the surface than it appears at skin level.

Emergency Level Burns

If you get burned in any vital area such as your eyes, ears, genital areas, feet, or hands, get to an urgent care or ER immediately. If these burns go untreated, they could cause permanent damage long term.

The degree and size of the burn can also call for immediate medical treatment. If you can visibly see how bad it is, or if it covers a large area, don’t hesitate to see a doctor.

Even if you don’t feel like the burn is bad at first, keep a close eye on it. If you notice the burn getting worse or more severe over time, head to a doctor right away!

Act Fast, Limit the Damage

Knowing when to seek medical attention for a burn is crucial in limiting its potential damage. Sometimes we want to be self-sufficient and take care of ourselves, but don’t let that stop you from getting the proper help you need.

If you’ve suffered a burn or any other injury, contact us immediately! We’ll let you know if it’s something that needs further treatment.