Treatments for Burns on the Skin

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When treating minor burns on the skin, use ice, cool water or a cold pack to cool down the affected area. Understand the different burn degrees of severity with helpful information from a public safety chief in this free video on first aid.

Part of the Video Series: First Aid Basics
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Chip and I'm a paramedic instructor for the state of North Carolina. And we're going to talk a little bit about on how to treat burns. We talk about burns, we're talking thermal or heat burns today. There's several different levels of thermal burns. There's by degree which is first, second and third degree. First being minor, something as simple as a bad sunburn. Third degree being a very full thickness, very deep burn to your skin. Your first degree burns, very very minor as far as a health risk goes, again your average sunburn a very bad sunburn. The biggest concern there is going to be pain and discomfort. For kids and the elderly it can be some other considerations you might want to talk to your physician about. But for the average person you just want to make sure you cool the area, something as simple as putting some water on a washcloth or using a you know, a pack of ice and put that around the towel, place it on the burned area to help cool it down. It usually does a pretty good job of taking most of the pain away. The problem with sunburns, it usually takes twelve to twenty-four hours to really realize you're burned bad. So if you come off the beach and you think you have a sunburn you could take something such as an anti-inflammatory like an over-the-counter medication that you would normally take. Just follow the directions on the bottle. For your deeper burns such as second degree, that's when you get your blistering. If you have blistering on the skin do not pop the blisters as that can cause infection as well as prolonged healing process. If you have second-degree or blisters on a large portion of your skin, you definitely want to seek medical help. Third-degree burns, fire burns and things like that you definitely need to seek medical help, possibly call nine-one-one. Many burns around the face, the nose, the mouth could actually affect your airway and breathing down the road, so you definitely want to call nine-one-one as well. And this has been a basic treatment on burns. Thank you.

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