What is a First-Degree Burn?
What are the Symptoms of a First-Degree Burn?
What are the different Causes and Types of a First-Degree Burn?
How Can a First-Degree Burn be Treated?
How Long Does It Take to Heal a First-Degree Burn?
When Should You See a Doctor About a First-Degree Burn?
How can a First-Degree Burn be Prevented?
A first-degree burn, also known as a mild or superficial burn, affects the first layer of skin and is the least harmful of the burn types. Contrary to second degree burns, first degree burns most commonly occur to young children and older adults. Although first degree burns are seldom severe, they can become quite painful, at which point you should seek professional medical assistance.
Symptoms of first degree burns include:
These symptoms will remain mild and tend to subside after 2-3 days. In the case of a sunburn, you may experience peeling in addition to the symptoms listed above. First degree burns seldom scar permanently after healing. Unlike second degree burns, first degree burns typically do not blister.
Sunburns: Sunburns are an inflammation of the skin caused by overexposure to ultraviolet radiation, typically from sunlight. These ultraviolet rays can penetrate the first layer of skin causing blisters, redness, and irritation. Sunburns are most commonly a result of:
Electric: An electrical burn is a skin reaction caused by an electric current passing through the body. Specific mediums causing a first-degree electric burn must be less powerful than 500 volts and are classified as low voltage electrical burns. Children are most prone to common facilitators of first degree electric burns, which are:
Thermal Burns/Scalds: Thermal burns, also known as scalds, are burns resulting from direct skin contact with substances or objects. These include hot liquid, steam, fire, and hot objects. With the exception of fire and showering in water above 120 degrees Fahrenheit, causes of first degree scalds often occur to children 4 and under. Common causes of first degree thermal burns/scalds include:
Chemical: Chemical Burns, also known as caustic burns, are burns that cause skin irritation and inflammation when either the eyes or skin are exposed to an irritant, such as an acid or a base. In the case of more severe chemical burns, the internal organs can be affected by ingesting or swallowing a chemical. Products that often produce chemical burns if used incorrectly are:
First degree burns can be treated at home and are best treated by first placing a mildly cool compress, such as ice cubes in a plastic bag, over the burn for 15 minutes to relieve the pain and swelling. After placing the cool compress, it is best to apply an ointment containing Aloe Vera in combination with an anesthetic like Lidocaine to numb the pain and protect the wound.
Although tempting, it is best to avoid inadequate home remedy treatments such as honey, lemons, butter, mayonnaise, and ice. These methods can cause infection or further irritate the wound. To adequately treat the burn, alleviate the pain, and hasten the healing process, use a combination of Aloe Vera (soothing & moisturizing agent), Lidocaine (pain numbing agent), and Vitamin E (wound healing agent). These are all active ingredients found in Alocane products.
On average, a first-degree burn takes between 3-10 days to heal fully. Factors that influence the healing time include the location of burn, treatment methods, and severity.
Doctors typically do not need to be contacted in the case of first degree burns. However, you should consult your doctor or seek medical care if:
Indications that the burned area may be infected are:
When the appropriate steps are taken, first degree burns are easily avoidable. Abide by these tips to ensure that first degree burns are avoided.
Preventing Electric Burns:
Preventing Thermal Burns/Scalds:
Preventing Chemical Burns: