Depending on the depth and severity, burns are generally classified as first, second or third degree burns. Burns are never constant and develop or mature over a period of time. So, burns which are initially classified as first degree burns may progress over a couple of hours and evolve into more serious second degree burns.
Superficial burns are generally categorized as first degree burns. People who suffer first degree burns may observe skin inflammation, reddening and pain. When a person suffers a more serious burn like a second degree burn, the individual can observe his or her skin begin to blister as well. Second degree burns unlike first degree burns require immediate medical attention.
Treatment for Second Degree Burns
An emergency situation exists if a person suffers from second degree burns over a major part of his or her body. In the event of an individual suffering a massive second degree burn, it is imperative to call for immediate and supervised medical care.
Until such time as medical service arrives, simple treatment or care can be administered to the second degree burn victim, to reduce his or her pain and trauma. Some possible treatment measures for second degree burn victims have been described below.
Before starting on any kind of first aid treatment, it is important to determine whether the burn is a first, second or third degree burn. In the event of a second degree burn, the patient’s skin will appear red and blotchy. Blisters will form on the burn site. The person will complain of excruciating pain and may go into a state of complete shock.
Wash Hands Thoroughly
It is extremely important to keep your hands spotlessly clean before you administer any kind of first aid treatment to the burn victim. Wash your hands with a good antiseptic soap and splash a good measure of antiseptic wash before you start first aid treatment.
Soak the Burn
The next step in the treatment process involves placing the burned area directly under cool, running tap water (not icy cold water) for at least fifteen minutes or until such time as medical care arrives. The cool running water not only provides succor from the stinging pain but also helps to diminish the burning sensation.
Apply Antibiotic Cream
Next apply a good antibiotic ointment or cream on the site of injury. Apply the antibiotic cream or ointment using sterile cotton swabs. The application of antibiotic ointments will help to reduce the chances of infection.
Cover the Burn
After application of antibiotic ointment or cream, cover the burn with sterile gauze. Care should be taken not to cover the burn with sticky or thick material as this will only increase the chances of infection. To keep the gauze in place, secure it with a measure of self adhesive tape or a small safety pin.
Wash the Burn Every Day
After the victim has received due medical attention and is discharged from the hospital, it is the duty of the primary care giver to wash the victim’s burn injury every single day and change his/her dressing.
Look For Signs of Infection
If there is any sign whatsoever of infection like reddening of the skin or pus formation it is important to notify the doctor immediately.