By Daniel Halperin
Most people recall their parents warning them not to play with fire. While you may have resented such stern advice then, it's still important to know not only how to avoid burns but what to do in case one occurs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over a million burns reported every year, half requiring hospitalization. What you do immediately after a burn may help reduce the severity of the injury.
The treatment of a burn depends upon its severity. And severe burns require immediate medical attention. Third-degree burns are the most severe, damaging the entire thickness of the skin. These types of burns often result from contact with chemicals, hot liquids, or solids, or burning clothes. They char the skin and may cause nerve damage so deep that a sufferer will not feel pain. Victims of third-degree burns require, fluids, electrolytes and proteins provided through an IV; skin grafting; and a dietary supplements to speed healing of the wound.
Second-degree burns damage the first and second layer of skin. This type of burn also requires medical attention. Second-degree burns will cause blisters, cherry red skin or blotches of white skin.
First-degree burns are often caused by brief contact with hot water, steam, hot objects or overexposure to the sun. These burns damage only the top layer of the skin, causing swelling, redness and pain.