No matter the severity of your burn, whether it is a sunburn or a chemical burn, they are always painful to experience! At Northwest Ohio Urgent Care, our top-rated physicians provide excellent treatment of first- and second-degree burns and would be happy to help you find relief from your burn.
How long will it take for a burn to go away?
When you are waiting for a burn to heal, it can feel like time decided on a whim to take the scenic route! Luckily, your burn will eventually heal even if it leaves a scar behind. However, the length of time it will take for your burn to go away depends on its size and severity. Burns are classified by degree according to how severe they are. As such, a first-degree burn, also known as a superficial burn, is the mildest of burns and will typically take approximately three to six days to heal. Second-degree burns, which are also referred to as superficial partial-thickness and deep partial-thickness burns, generally take anywhere from one to three weeks to heal. Third-degree burns, or full-thickness burns, take longer than three weeks to heal and may require skin grafting in some instances. With fourth-, fifth-, or sixth- degree burns, significant damage has been caused beyond the skin to the fat, muscle, tendons, joints, and even the bone, involving a lengthy recovery process with scars that will likely never go away.
Should I go to emergency or an urgent care for a burn?
If you are wondering whether you should go to the emergency room or an urgent care clinic for burn treatment, consider how severe your burn is. If you think it could be third-degree or worse, then there is no question—go to your nearest emergency room immediately. However, if it is a first- or second-degree burn, an urgent care clinic can provide excellent treatment in a timelier manner and at a less expensive price than the emergency room. If you are unsure how severe your burn is, here are some symptoms of each degree of burn:
- Dry, peeling skin as it heals
- Examples include sunburns or burns from touching hot water
- Minor inflammation and pain
- Discolored or white skin with an irregular pattern
- Extremely painful to the touch
- Shiny or wet appearance
- Charred skin
- Dark brown, waxy, or white color to the skin
- Raised and leather-like texture
Fourth degree and higher:
- Charred or loss of skin with potential bone exposed
When should I see a doctor about a burn?
For first-degree burns, such as a sunburn, it is likely not a necessity that you see a doctor unless it causes you concern, or you are looking for a prescription ointment to help it heal. That said, you should watch for signs of infection, which could include increased pain, redness, swelling, or liquid oozing from the wound. If you notice signs of infection with a first-degree burn, you should see a doctor as soon as you can. If your burn shows signs that it is worse than a first-degree burn, you should seek immediate medical attention. For a third-degree burn or higher, go to your nearest emergency room immediately. To treat first- or second-degree burns, our board-certified physicians at Northwest Ohio Urgent Care would be happy to provide expert medical attention!
Should you cover a burn or let it breathe?
While every wound needs oxygen to heal, sometimes the wounded tissue needs are too vulnerable to be exposed to the elements. That said, figuring out whether a burn should be covered or left to breathe is usually determined on a case-by-case basis, and it is best to let a medical expert make that call. For more information on whether you should cover your wound or let it breathe, we welcome you to call us at (419) 891-0525 to receive expert medical advice from our doctors at Northwest Ohio Urgent Care!
If you need treatment for a first- or second-degree burn and live near Bowling Green, Ohio, we can provide that for you at Northwest Ohio Urgent Care! Come see us for a walk-in appointment at 1015 Conant St in Maumee, Ohio, during the hours of 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM from Monday to Friday.