Distinguishing a minor burn injury from a serious burn is important, as the level of care you need varies based on severity.

The first step of determining severity is to determine the damage to body tissues.

If your burn is major, please call 9-1-1 and seek medical attention immediately.

If your burn is minor, then a quick trip to an urgent care center can help alleviate your pain and start the healing process.

Types of Burns

There are three burn classifications of burns: first-degree burn, second-degree burn and third-degree burn. Knowing your type of burn will help you determine the level of emergency care you need.

What are First-degree Burns

The least serious of burns, first-degree burns are those in which the outer layer of skin is all that is burned — and not all the way through. This could be from an accidental touch to the curling iron or the stove, but the skin usually appears red, swollen and painful.

A first-degree burn should be treated as a minor burn unless it involves substantial portions of the hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks, or a major joint, which requires emergency medical attention.

Looking for quick relief for a minor burn? Cool water can provide burn relief, minor burn care or minor burn treatment on burned skin if you believe you have a first-degree burn.

Treatment for Minor Burns

  • Cool the burn with cold water
  • Cover the burn with sterile gauze
  • Take pain relief medication as needed 
  • Use a topical cream such as sulfadiazine

What are Second-degree Burns

When the first layer of skin has been burned through and the second layer of skin (dermis) also is burned, you have a second-degree burn.

Signs of a second-degree burn

  • Blisters develop
  • Skin takes on an intensely reddened splotchy appearance.
  • Severe pain and swelling

If the second-degree burn is no larger than 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) in diameter, treat it as a minor burn. If the burned area is larger or if the burn is on the hands, feet, face, groin or buttocks, or over a major joint, treat it as a major burn and get medical help immediately.

If you have been severely burned, please call 9-1-1 or go to the emergency room for care for your burn and immediate medical attention. Severe burns require medical treatment.

Urgent Care for Burns

Urgent care treatment can be a solution to your minor burn. Our services can accurately diagnose your minor burn and tell you what you need to do to treat your injury.

If the injury is very minor, then you may have clear instructions on how to start feeling better. If the problem is worse, a trip to an urgent care center can help with the pain. We can get your injury in front of the right specialist so that your injury does not become a much longer one.

Infection can be a major issue when it comes to a burn, as the skin around a burn can cause blisters and fill with fluid. An infection can cause long-term tissue damage, but immediate treatment from an urgent care center by a medical professional can help prevent this..

Contact Northwest Urgent Care Now

Northwest Urgent Care, located in Amarillo, Texas, is open six days a week with convenient daytime and evening hours for patients needing urgent care treatment. Our team of medical professionals is here to help with your minor burn. Walk-in or make a reservation online.