Common Causes of Burns
Burns can happen due to a variety of factors such as the sun, hot liquids, heated objects, electricity, and chemicals. The most common type of burn is a thermal burn, which is typically caused by steam, flames, hot metals, or scalding hot liquids. Sunburn is also a very common cause of mild to moderate burns, especially in the summer months. However, sunburn can occur year round.
Sunburn Symptoms and Prevention
Unlike the other common burns we mentioned, sunburn has a habit of sneaking up on you. You generally won’t notice the effects until hours after the damage has already been done. Some of the symptoms of sunburn include the following:
- The skin is tight, red and painful
- Swollen skin
- Fever and chills
Depending on the strength of the sun on any given day and the length of time spent without sunburn protection, the level of severity of a sunburn can vary greatly. In order to avoid sunburn, here are a few preventative measures you should take:
- Avoid staying in the sun at midday when the sunlight is strongest
- Cover your skin (brimmed hat, sunglasses, light fabric, etc.)
- Use sunscreen (at least 30 SPF) before going outside. If you are going to be outside for an extended period of time, reapply every few hours as well as after going in the water or sweating.
Treatment for burns is different based on a few factors, including the severity of the burn and the cause of the burn. AM/PM Walk-in Urgent Care can treat patients with minor to moderate burns which typically means redness, swelling, and minor to moderate pain. Severe burns run a high risk of infection and should be treated at an emergency room.
Relief for Minor to Moderate Burns
To offer some relief from pain for sunburn and other minor burns, here are a few things you can do:
- Hold the burn under cool water for 15 minutes or apply a cool cloth to the area.
- Do not break any blisters. If they break on their own, wash them with soap and water and apply an antibiotic to the area. Then, cover it with a bandage
- Applying prescribed lotions can relieve pain.
- Avoid exposing the area to extreme cold as burned skin is more prone to getting frostbite.
- Do not rub the area with ice.
Burned skin is at risk of infection, so if you notice an increase in pain and delayed healing, have a medical professional evaluate the burn. AM/PM Walk-in Urgent Care is available to evaluate and treat your minor to moderate burns today. We have offices in Bergenfield and North Bergen, NJ. No appointment necessary.