One thing that we often forget is that injuries can beget injuries when left untreated. This is true of just about any injury, including burns. And, while minor burns are common, if left untreated, they too can lead to more serious complications.
Causes and symptoms
Burns can be caused by prolonged sunlight exposure, fire, hot liquids, steam, exposure to electricity and chemicals. Common symptoms of minor burns are tenderness in the burn area, redness, blistering, swelling, and skin bleeding.
Minor burns can be treated at home, but if you were in an accident, seek medical attention. And, if you were in a car accident or similar emergency out of the home, wait for help. If you cannot tell the severity of your injuries call 9-1-1.
At home, you can cool your burn with cold water and a damp cloth. Hold the burn under the water or cloth for at least 10 minutes. Remove anything touching the burn. Pain relief should be manageable with over-the-counter pain relievers, but if not, contact your doctor.
Cover the burn with sterile gauze. Keep the burned area clean and change the gauze daily. You can also use antibiotic cream or ointment to prevent an infection. Do not pop any blisters or pull back peeling skin as this too can increase the likelihood of an infection.
The most common complication from minor burns is an infection. Infections can cause additional redness, pus, fever and additional and increased pain. Unless separately treated, the infection could spread into your bloodstream and cause sepsis, which could kill you. This means that even a minor burn could become life threatening, if untreated or treated improperly.
Take injuries, regardless of how seemingly minor, seriously. Treat them to avoid infection and avoid bacterial buildup and avoid infection