Burn Wound Infection

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A burn is one of the most common injuries and it can be life threatening. Burns are susceptible to infection when the wound is open to germs and bacteria.

Classifications

Burns are classified in three degrees. First degree is a minor burn where the skin is not blistered, but red and painful. This type of burn probably will not be able to get infected because the skin is closed.

a common type of first degree burn is a sun burn.
a common type of first degree burn is a sun burn. (Image: Tammy Bryngelson/iStock/Getty Images)

Blisters Can Get Infected

Second-degree burns are more serious and may need a doctor’s care. Second-degree burns can have blisters that break open allowing germs and bacteria to enter and cause infection.

Second-degree burn.
Second-degree burn. (Image: RosicaSabotanova/iStock/Getty Images)

Serious Burns

Third-degree burns are the worst and are quite serious. You will be under a doctor’s care and possibly hospitalized. Burn wound infections are a risk.

Third-degree burns are the worst and require a doctor's care.
Third-degree burns are the worst and require a doctor's care. (Image: intek1/iStock/Getty Images)

Cautions

Never use any butter or grease on a burn to cool it off; this can increase the chance of infection. Do not break or pop any of the blisters in the wound.

Never use any butter or grease on a burn to cool it off.
Never use any butter or grease on a burn to cool it off. (Image: RosicaSabotanova/iStock/Getty Images)

Prevention

As the wound heals, you must be very careful to keep it clean and sanitary. Covering it with a sterile gauze pad or bandage can keep the wound clean. Bathe or shower everyday in a clean tub.

Covering the burn area with a sterile gauze pad or bandage can keep the wound clean.
Covering the burn area with a sterile gauze pad or bandage can keep the wound clean. (Image: federicofoto/iStock/Getty Images)

Symptoms

Symptoms of an infected burn wound are change in the color of the skin around the burn, swelling, strange odor, the wound sinks deeper into the skin and gets larger, green or yellow pus develops, and a fever.

Infected burn wound.
Infected burn wound. (Image: Diane White Rosier/iStock/Getty Images)

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