Burns are the result of the death of cells in the skin, when the skin comes in contact with something hot. The treatment and recovery time after a burn depend on the severity. Here are the four degrees of burns and how they may be treated:
- 1st Degree: This is a superficial burn that will turn your skin red but will not create blisters. It will heal in about a week. Treatment includes using local pain killers.
- 2nd Degree: This type of burn results in partial thickness skin damage. Blisters will be present with a 2nd degree burn. To treat this, you will wear a splint on your hand/forearm. Your doctor will clean the wound and apply a topical antibiotic (such as a cream). It will heal in 2-3 weeks.
- 3rd Degree: This type of burn results in full thickness skin damage. The skin will be white and leathery. You will need surgery if your burn is this severe. Surgery will include removing the dead skin and replacing it with skin grafts. It can take months to fully recover from such an injury.
- 4th Degree: This burn is the same as a third-degree burn, but it causes damage to tendons, joints and/or bones. You may need more than one surgery.
Serious burns may also need treatment with a hand therapist. Learn more about burns of the upper extremity as well as other injuries and conditions at www.HandCare.org.