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Is It an Infected Burn? When to Seek Professional Care for Burns

Burns are among the most serious injuries that a person experience. In extreme cases, they can even result in permanent nerve damage

But, other complications can arise while the wound is healing. Infection, in particular, is a notably dangerous problem. Not everyone knows how to recognize an infected burn, though.

Not sure where to start? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know.

So, When Should I Seek Treatment for My Burn?

There’s a handful of factors that you’ll need to consider before deciding whether or not to seek professional treatment for your burn. Neglecting these can be the injured person at risk of further injury.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most notable.

The Location of the Burn

In general, burns that are in areas that frequently come in contact with other people or objects (such as the hands, feet, etc.) often have a more difficult time healing and are more at risk of infection.

Similarly, burns on the face could result in permanent disfigurement if not treated early on by a medical professional. 

So, burns in exposed or sensitive areas should always be checked out by a doctor.

The Size

Small burns typically aren’t something to worry about if they’re not overly severe.

If the burn you’ve experienced covers more surface area than your palm, though, you’ll need to seek treatment for it. Otherwise, you run the risk of permanent damage to your body.

The Severity

Burns come in different levels of severity, which are medically referred to as ‘degrees.’ These are:

  • First Degree- Only the outer layer of skin is affected and often includes redness/swelling
  • Second Degree- Both the outer and underlying layers of skin are affected, resulting in pain, swelling, and blistering
  • Third Degree- These burns affect the deepest layers of skin and often involve nerve damage in the form of numbness

A small second-degree burn or an average-sized first-degree burn is likely treatable on their own. A third-degree burn of any size, though, should be treated immediately by a professional.

Is It Infected?

Infected burns are notably dangerous since the outer layers of skin are damaged/destroyed, allowing a deeper layer of your body to be exposed.

If pain increases over time, there’s discharge coming from the wound, or the burn has a foul smell to it, it’s likely infected. 

In rare cases, an infected wound can turn into a serious medical condition, so be sure to keep an eye on it. 

Handling an Infected Burn Can Seem Difficult

But it doesn’t have to be.

With the above information about dealing with an infected burn in mind, you’ll be well on your way toward getting the appropriate treatment as soon as possible.

Want to learn more about how we can help? Feel free to get in touch with us today to see what we can do.