Health Tip: Caring for a Minor Burn
(HealthDay News) -- Most minor burns can be cared for at home without requiring a trip to the emergency room.
Each year, more than 500,000 people seek help for minor household burns, the U.S. National Institutes of Health says.
The severity of a burn depends on the area it covers and how deep the damage goes. First-degree burns affect only the thin top layer of skin. Second-degree burns include the thick lower layer of skin. A third-degree burn is the most serious; it penetrates the entire depth of skin, permanently destroying it and the tissue that's underneath.
See a doctor if the burn is dark red and looks glossy and blistery. These are signs of a second-degree burn. Get immediate treatment if the skin is dry and leathery, with white, brown or black patches. These are signs of third-degree burn.
To treat minor burns, the NIH suggests:
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