To tell the difference between a mild and severe burn, you must first verify the degree and the amount of harm done to body tissues. Determining whether it is a first, second, or third degree burn will assist you with your decision of which emergency care to choose.
First degree burn treatment
Burns that require the least amount of critical care are those where only the outer layer of skin (epidermis) is burned. The skin will normally turn red, and it will sometimes become inflamed and sore. However, this layer of skin has not been burnt through to the next. A first degree burn should be treated like a mild burn unless the burn is covering the majority of the patient's hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, or a major joint (e.g., knee, elbow).
Second degree burn treatment
When a burn has gone past the first layer and reaches the second layer of skin (dermis), it is called a second degree burn. Blisters will form, and the skin turns a bright, blotchy red color. These kinds of burns cause intense pain and swelling.
If the burn injury is no bigger than three inches across, treat it as a mild burn. On the other hand, the site of the burn is greater than three inches in diameter or it is on the patient's hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, or on a major joint, it should be cared for as a severe burn, and medical attention should be sought immediately.
For mild burns (first and second degree burns restricted to an area smaller than three inches, perform the following procedures:
Mild burns will usually heal properly using the previous suggestions, but you may notice a difference in pigmentation between the new skin and the skin surrounding it. It is important to beware of signs of infection such as sudden elevation in pain and redness, fever, swelling, or secretions of fluid from the burn area. See a doctor if any of these symptoms develop, and the condition of the burn appears to be worsening. Try to avoid tanning or any activity which could cause injury to the healed burn area for the next year; this could cause the skin to become even more discolored. As a precaution, sunscreen should be applied to the area whenever it is exposed to the sun for at least one year after it has completely healed.
For first and second degree burns, do not:
Third degree burn treatment
Third degree burns are pain-free, affect all three layers of the skin, and cause irreversible tissue and nerve damage. Sometimes, the burn may work its way through fat and muscle down to the bone. Third degree burn sites may become charred and black or look white and flaky. If the burn victim also experienced smoke inhalation, they may have carbon monoxide poisoning or problems breathing in and out.
For severe burns, call 911 or emergency medical care. While awaiting the paramedics' arrival, follow these instructions in this order: