Burns can happen accidentally while cooking from open flames, splashing oil or steam, from heating pads and other external heat sources, from electrical accidents or directly from fire.
Whatever the cause, burns are classified as 1st, 2nd or 3rd degree.
1st degree burns cause redness, swelling and pain like a sunburn and can be managed by immediately putting the affected area under cool running water (not using ice) for 10 minutes and then using anti-inflammatory medications and creams.
2nd degree burns reflect a deeper level of injury and will result in painful red blisters. These burns require special wound care to prevent infection, but luckily rarely result in true permanent scarring. In darker skinned patients, these burns may heal with either temporary darkening or loss of pigment. By treating these burns immediately, this side effect can be managed.
3rd degree burns are true medical emergencies due to the extensive damage to the underlying blood vessels, nerves and muscle tissue. Do not attempt to manage these burns at home. Seek immediate care at an emergency room/ trauma or burn center.