Burns that require medical care

The most important thing you can do after being burned is put a stop to the burning. If it’s a heat-related burn, remove or smother the source to stop it. For cold burns, heat the area as much and as quickly as possible. Liquid burns should be placed under cold water, and if a chemical is to blame, contact the Poison Control Center to determine the best course of action for the specific substance. Seek immediate medical attention if a burn:

  • Affects a large area of skin (more than 3 inches)
  • Affects large amounts of tissue on: hands, face, feet, buttocks, or groin
  • Is white or blistering — call 911 immediately for large amounts of white skin with blistering

Distinguishing degrees of burns

Burns are classified in three categories:

  • First degree: Red, irritated skin that may be slightly raised, but not fully blistered
  • Second degree: Red, blistered skin that may include some skin thickening at the burn site
  • Third degree: Burn appears white and leathery, and the burn area has widespread skin thickening

Immediate care for non-emergency burns:

 If a burn is serious but not an emergency — usually first- or second-degree burns — the medical professionals at your local Impact Urgent Care will be able to provide relief and advise the best treatment plan to help your burn heal quickly and safely. Take the following steps immediately after being burned:

  • Remove any clothing that may be near the affected area
  • Rinse the burn under cool water (if it’s a heat burn)
  • Cover the burn with clean, dry cloth or gauze
  • Elevate burned area above the heart (if possible)
  • Don’t apply anything (ice or lotion specifically, as these can exacerbate the problem and trap heat in the skin, increasing your risk of tissue damage and infection)
  • Proceed to your nearest Impact Urgent Care clinic for evaluation

How to treat minor burns

First- and second-degree burns may sometimes be cared for without medical attention, provided they are minimal and topical pain is manageable. Run cool water over a heat-burned area and keep it covered with a loose gauze or bandage in between cool water treatments. Once the burn has been cooled, you can apply aloe vera, or lotions or creams containing aloe vera, to help soothe the burned skin. It’s important to monitor the skin and its healing process to rule out any infection or complications. Generally, burns are accompanied by some level of pain, which may be managed by an oral pain reliever like Tylenol.

If there’s any question about a burn you’ve received, or you think you might need medical attention to treat it, visit a clinic for the best chance of healing. Call or check in online at your local Impact Urgent Care to get the advice and help you need to heal quickly and safely.

Visit Impact Urgent Care for:

  • Abscess incision and drainage
  • Allergic reactions
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Athlete’s foot/fungus infection
  • Bronchitis
  • Burns from heat or chemical exposure
  • Congestion
  • Cough
  • Diaper rash
  • Ear infection
  • Earache
  • Eye infection
  • Fever
  • Flu symptoms
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  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Insect bites
  • Itchy skin
  • Migraine
  • Nausea
  • Rashes
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus infection
  • Skin allergy
  • Skin infections
  • Sore throat
  • STD testing and treatment
  • Stomachaches and stomach pains
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Wound infection
  • If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 9-1-1 immediately.