Where you should get help for a burn depends upon the severity of the burn. You can treat some burns at home, while others require an appointment with your doctor or treatment at a hospital or burn center.
What burns can I treat home?
You can treat most first-degree burns at home. Home remedies like applying Aloe vera and running the burn under cool (not cold) water are often sufficient. There are, of course, exceptions to this rule. If your burn meets any of the criteria listed below, seek appropriate medical treatment.
What burns require a doctor appointment or visit to an urgent care facility?
If your burn develops blisters, it is a second-degree burn, not a first-degree burn. Visit an urgent care facility or set up an appointment with your doctor. However, if your second-degree burn is larger than two inches, visit the emergency room.
What burns require emergency care?
Go to the emergency department for the following burns:
- Burns on a small child
- Burns involving the eyes, face, ears, joints, hands, feet, or groin
- Burns larger than two inches
- Electrical or chemical burns
- You do not know the severity of the burn
- Burns whose symptoms worsen
- Burns showing signs of infection
- Patient experiences disorientation, unconsciousness, dizziness, swelling, confusion, or trouble breathing
Third- and fourth-degree burns: Of course, a third- or fourth-degree burn always requires emergency medical treatment. Call 9-1-1 for immediate emergency care. Medical trauma professionals need to care for these catastrophic injuries. Never assume a burn is not serious if you do not feel pain. In many cases, third- and fourth-degree burn victims feel no pain because the burn destroys nerve endings.
Third-degree and fourth-degree burns may involve prolonged stays in the hospital or burn center. After the initial treatment at a hospital or burn center, you will likely require follow-up care.
How do I get help paying for medical treatment?
Medical treatment can cost thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. If you suffered a burn that another party caused, you may need professional legal help to recover compensation to pay for your medical bills. Our legal referral specialists will help connect you with a lawyer. Call 844-549-8774.