Only the epidermis or the outer layer of skin is affected by a first-degree burn and medical attention is not required for most cases. These types of burns are also known as superficial and may often be avoided by taking certain precautions. Common symptoms include swelling, pain, and redness with a first-degree burn, and the skin begins to peel in some cases.
Causes of First-Degree Burns
Overexposure to ultraviolet light is a common cause of first-degree burns. Usually, the sun is the cause, however, tanning beds, heat lamps, or other sources of ultraviolet light can be as well. Avoiding prolonged exposure to ultraviolet light, wearing protective clothing, and applying sunblock may all assist in the prevention of sunburns.
Other causes of first-degree burns are exposure to scalding liquid, electricity, flames, certain chemicals, and more. First-degree burns can be painful; however, the pain often subsides by applying ice or cold water. As with sunburn, when the burn begins to heal, the skin may peel and blistering will not be evident which can be an indicator of a more serious burn.
First-Degree Burn Treatment
Generally, a first-degree burn can be treated at home. Cool compresses and ointment can be helpful in relieving pain and cool the skin, promoting healing. Butter and oils should never be used in the treatment of a burn, which can prevent healing of the area. To prevent infection, the burn must be kept free of debris and clean. Bandages may be helpful depending on the location of the burn. Anywhere from three to twenty days may be needed for a first-degree burn to heal, depending on type and size of burn and the methods for treatment used.
In some cases, medical treatment may be necessary for first-degree burns. To avoid complications, medical attention may be required if a burn covers a large area of the patient’s body. The body’s largest defense against bacteria and viruses is skin, leaving a patient vulnerable to infection when a large portion of the skin is covered by a burn.
Medical attention may also be required for a first-degree burn not healing properly. If a burn is not showing indications of healing and it has been longer than twenty days, the healing process may be prevented due to immune system complications. Seek medical attention for treatment with a burn showing signs of infection or worsening rather than healing.
If you or someone you love has suffered a burn thru no fault of your own, contact an experienced Louisiana burn injury attorney to learn your legal rights. A burn injury case can be complicated, have a knowledgeable lawyer from Cueria Law Firm by your side.