Burn Care

 

Second Degree Electrical Burn

A second degree burn is also called a partial thickness burn. Your skin contains 3 layers. A second degree burn occurs when the first layer and some of the second layer are burned. This type of burn usually heals within 2 to 3 weeks with some scarring.

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a fast heartbeat or breathing.
  • You are not urinating.

Contact your healthcare provider or burn specialist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have increased redness, numbness, or swelling in the burn area.
  • Your wound or bandage is leaking pus and has a bad smell.
  • Your pain does not get better, or gets worse, even after you take pain medicine.
  • You have a dry mouth or eyes.
  • You are overly thirsty or tired.
  • You have dark yellow urine or urinate less than usual.
  • You have a headache or feel dizzy.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care

 

When should I contact my healthcare provider?

  • You are dizzy or weak.
  • You have stiff joints or muscle pain.
  • You are confused or have memory loss.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

When should I seek immediate care or call 911?

  • You have a fast heartbeat.
  • You have a seizure.
  • You have problems walking or keeping your balance.
  • You suddenly have trouble seeing or hearing.
  • You have red or reddish black urine.
  • You have shortness of breath.

How do I care for my second degree burn?

  • Wash your hands with soap and water and remove old bandages. You may need to soak the bandage in water before you remove it so it will not stick to your wound.

  • Gently clean the burned area daily with mild soap and water, and pat dry. Look for any swelling or redness around the burn. Do not break closed blisters, because this increases the risk for infection.

  • Apply cream or ointment to the burn with a cotton swab. Place a nonstick bandage over your burn.

  • Wrap a layer of gauze around the bandage to hold it in place. The wrap should be snug but not tight. It is too tight if you feel tingling or lose feeling in that area.

  • Apply gentle pressure for a few minutes if bleeding occurs.

  • Elevate your burned arm or leg above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your burned arm or leg on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.

Third Degree Electrical Burn 

A third degree burn is also called a full thickness burn. Your skin contains 3 layers. A third degree burn occurs when all 3 layers are burned. This may also include damage to the bones and muscles. A third degree burn is the most serious type of burn.

 

Seek care immediately if:

  • You have a fast heartbeat or breathing.
  • You are not urinating.

Contact your healthcare provider or burn specialist if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have increased redness, numbness, or swelling in the burn area.
  • Your wound or bandage is leaking pus and has a bad smell.
  • Your pain does not get better, or gets worse, even after you take pain medicine.
  • You have a dry mouth or eyes.
  • You are overly thirsty or tired.
  • You have dark yellow urine or urinate less than usual.
  • You have a headache or feel dizzy.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

 

How do I care for my third degree burn?

  • Wash your hands with soap and water and remove old bandages. You may need to soak the bandage in water before you remove it so it will not stick to your wound.
  • Gently clean the burned area daily with mild soap and water, and pat dry. Look for any swelling or redness around the burn. Do not break closed blisters, because this increases the risk for infection.
  • Apply cream or ointment to the burn with a cotton swab. Place a nonstick bandage over your burn.
  • Wrap a layer of gauze around the bandage to hold it in place. The wrap should be snug but not tight. It is too tight if you feel tingling or lose feeling in that area.
  • Apply gentle pressure for a few minutes if bleeding occurs.
  • Elevate your burned arm or leg above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your burned arm or leg on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated comfortably.

Physical therapy:

  • Your muscles and joints may not work well after a second degree burn. A physical therapist teaches you exercises to help improve movement and strength, and to decrease pain.

RISKS:

  • You may become dehydrated. You have a higher risk for infection. You may have scarring after the burn heals. Scarring in some places, such as over joints, can cause loss of motion. Without treatment, your burn may become infected, and you may have increased pain. An infected burn will take longer to heal. 

CARE AGREEMENT:

  • You have the right to help plan your care. Learn about your health condition and how it may be treated. Discuss treatment options with your caregivers to decide what care you want to receive. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

Further information

  • Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information applies to your personal circumstances.

 

Disclaimer

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided is accurate, up-to-date and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. In addition, the information contained herein may be time sensitive and should not be utilized as a reference resource beyond the date hereof. This material does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients, or recommend therapy. This information is a reference resource designed as supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill , knowledge, and judgement of healthcare practitioners in patient care. The absence of a warning for a given drug or combination thereof in no way should be construed to indicate safety, effectiveness, or appropriateness for any given patient.

LineLife Foundation does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of materials provided. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the substances you are taking or post discharge care procedures check with your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist.

 

First Aid Resources

 

WebMD First Aid

 

Mayo Clinic First Aid

 

TeleDoc