Caring for Burns
A burn is a skin injury and is normally caused by heat, chemicals or friction. The severity of the burn must be identified to properly treat it and is based on the depth of the burn. A first or second-degree burn can hurt, but it is limited to the first and second layers of the skin (epidermis and dermis) and is considered minor unless it covers a substantial portion of skin. A third-degree burn, on the other hand, may be associated with no immediate pain, but involves damage to deep tissues below the dermis and is very serious and requires emergency medical attention.
If there is a break in the burn wound, a skin infection could occur. Bacteria can enter the wound through the opening that has been created. Risk of skin infection can be decreased with proper cleansing, application of a topical antibiotic ointment such as POLYSPORIN® Antibiotic Ointment, and application of a sterile bandage or dressing, such as BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandage.
Signs of Infection:
- Any discharge (pus/greenish fluid) draining from scrape
- Signs of pain or tenderness
- Fever of 37.8°C or higher
- Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpit or groin
- Warmth around the infected area
- Red streaks extending from the infected area
Wash away dirt and germs: Thoroughly flush and clean the affected area with mild soap and water or an antiseptic wash and allow drying.
For Infection Prevention: Apply POLYSPORIN® Antibiotic Ointment or Cream to the affected area one to three times daily until healed to help prevent infection and keep wound moist to decrease scarring.
Cover for faster healing: Cover the affected area with a sterile bandage or dressing, such as BAND-AID® Brand Adhesive Bandage, and keep it covered until the wound is completely healed. This protects the wound from dirt and germs that can cause infection, thereby helping to promote faster healing.