Burns are painful injuries and the pain can last a long time. It could take several days for a minor burn to heal, and healing takes much longer for a bad burn. If your burn is bad enough, your doctor may admit you to a burn unit for the best care, while mild burns can be treated at home with instructions from your doctor. Here are some burn treatment options a doctor can choose from based on the severity and location of your burn.

Burn Treatments For Bad Burns

Burn treatments involve managing severe pain, preventing infection, and helping skin heal without excessive scarring. If you go to the hospital or burn clinic, your burns may be wrapped in dry gauze and changed regularly. You'll probably need strong pain medication to tolerate the dressing changes.

Your nurse might also apply ointments to your burn and give you antibiotics by IV. Fluids by IV are often necessary to combat dehydration caused by the burn. As your skin heals, scar tissue might form that makes it difficult to bend your hand or make other movements. You might need surgery to graft skin to the burn, and you may need physical therapy to maintain as much range of motion in your hand, foot, or body as possible.

Treatment For Life-Threatening Burns

If you have burns over a large percentage of your body, your condition could be life-threatening. Organs in your body could be affected, and you might have trouble breathing and need to be put on a ventilator. Burns cause swelling, and the swelling could close off your throat or windpipe and lead to breathing problems without mechanical ventilation assistance.

Scars are a bigger problem with more serious burns. Scars might circle around a hand or arm, and when combined with tissue swelling, the scar could cut off your circulation. To prevent this, your doctor might need to cut away scar tissue.

In addition to treating burned skin, you may need intensive medical support while you heal from a serious burn. You could need several surgeries, including plastic surgery, to help you heal.

Burn Treatments You Can Do At Home

If the burn is mild, it may not need much in the way of treatment even if the burn stings for a day or two. You can wrap the burn or cover it with a moisturizing lotion that contains aloe. If the burn causes a lot of pain or if it doesn't heal quickly, then call your doctor.

Your doctor might prescribe burn medications or recommend an over-the-counter cream. You might also need antibiotics to prevent an infection in your skin. Your doctor may also wrap your skin in bandages and teach you how to change the dressing until the burn has healed.