What is Considered a Minor Burn?
A minor burn, or first-degree burn, is a reaction on the first or outermost layer of the skin, causing damage to the skin. Common symptoms include pain, redness and swelling at the burn site. Mild and severe burns, known as second and third-degree burns, affect both the outer layer as well as deeper layers of the skin. Symptoms and severity of burns vary based on the type of burn and length of exposure.
Common Causes for Minor Burns
- Radiation – sun beds, sun, X-rays, radiation therapy
- High temperatures – burners, liquids, metals, steam and other thermal sources
- Contact with open flames – matches, candles, lighters and other fire sources
- Chemicals – acids, solvents, detergents
- Electricity – electrical sockets and other sources of electrical currants
- Cold (frostbite) – prolonged exposure to freezing temperatures
- Friction – abrasive contact where the skin meets a hard surface
Types of Burns
- First-degree – affects the first, or top, layer of the skin. Considered minor and can be treated at home
- Second-degree – affects the top and lower layer of the skin. Considered mild and can be typically be treated at home as long as symptoms do not worsen. Takes a longer time to heal
- Third-degree – affects the top and deep layers of the skin. Considered severe and requires immediate emergency care. Takes the most time to heal
How to Prevent Burns
Wear the correct protection for the situation – such as oven mitts/ an apron, sunscreen, extra or long clothing, etc.
Keep harmful items out of children’s reach.
- Be aware of your surroundings and keep a safe distance
- Check your smoke detectors on a regular basis
- Do not leave a room unattended with an open flame
Symptoms of Minor Burns
Burn symptoms vary depending on the severity and length of exposure.
Most people experience mild symptoms for minor burns. These symptoms include:
- Dryness or peeling
Symptoms of severe burns include:
- The burn has affected a large area (over 3 inches in diameter)
- The burn site appears black, brown, white or yellow
- Dry or leather-like texture
- Pain is minimal due to nerve damage
Treatment for Burns
Based on the type of your burn, several at-home treatments can help you manage your symptoms.
Types of Treatment for Minor Burns
- Antibiotic ointment
- Loose bandages
- Over-the-counter and prescription medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- Soaking the affected area in cool water
Treatment for Severe Burns
Severe, or third-degree, burns should always be treated at the emergency room. Call 911 or go to your nearest emergency room.
Help for Burns at Bronson
Minor burns are a common home injury for many individuals. Working with your doctor can help manage your symptoms, reduce the risk of complications and advise or prepare you for what to do in an emergency.
If you have a burn that you are concerned about or that is causing discomfort, you can rely upon your local care team at Bronson to provide the relief you need.
- Contact your Primary Care Provider
- Current patients can schedule in-person or video visit appointments by calling the office.
- Scheduled Video Visit: Bronson primary care—and many specialty care appointments—can now be done online using the Bronson MyChart App.
- Find a Doctor: Looking for a Primary Care Provider? Find a doctor and schedule online or by calling (269) 341-7788.
- On Demand Video Visit
- If you need help, whether you’re at home, at work or traveling, you can connect face-to-face with a Bronson doctor. Use anywhere you have an internet connection and a smart phone, tablet or computer.