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Nearly 500,000 people seek emergency treatment for burns in the United States every year. A burn is tissue damage caused by exposure to high heat, sun exposure, or contact with harmful chemicals. Burns are usually classified according to their severity:
- First-degree burn: A first-degree burn is relatively mild in severity and only affects the outer layer of the skin.
- Second-degree burn: Second-degree burns affect the outer layer of the skin (epidermis) and the second layer of skin (dermis).
- Third-degree burn: Third-degree burns reach the fat tissue that is located beneath the skin.
Symptoms of a burn will also vary depending on the severity of the burn.
- Red or discolored skin
- Severe pain
- Discolored skin (skin may become black, brown, or white)
- Nerve damage
Most cases of first-degree burns can be treated at home with self-care methods. If you are experiencing the symptoms of second or third-degree burns, seek medical attention right away. Not only can these injuries be extremely painful, but they may lead to serious bacterial or viral infections.
Below is a list of common treatment options for burns. During your appointment, discuss these with your doctor to determine the right treatment plan for you.