Pain from a burn can last anywhere from minutes to months, depending on the cause of the burn, how deep the burn is, and how it is treated.
A minor burn may cause only fleeting burn pain that goes away within an hour. Most burn pain should dissipate within days to weeks.
With more severe burns, the burn pain can be extensive and take months to heal.
The first thing to do is:
CALL 911 IF:
- The burn penetrates all layers of the skin, skin is black, there is no pain and skin is clearly burned.
- The skin is leathery or charred looking, with white, brown, or black patches.
- The burn blister is larger than two inches or oozes.
- The hands, feet, face, or genitals are burned.
- The person is an infant or a senior.
For First-Degree Burns (Affecting Top Layer of Skin)
1. Cool Burn
- Hold burned skin under cool (not cold) running water or immerse in cool water until pain subsides.
- Use compresses if running water isn’t available.
2. Protect Burn
- Cover with sterile, non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth.
- Do not apply butter or ointments, which can cause infection, especially if skin is broken.
3. Treat Pain
- Give over-the-counter pain reliever such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), acetaminophen (Tylenol), or naproxen (Aleve).
How Does an MD treat a burn:
1. It depends on where the burn is and how extensive it is.
2. When my son had a burn I did the following: all the above except I put Lidocaine 1% gel on skin after cooing the burn in running cool water or a cold bath for 10-50min depending on how severe the burn is. I put his hand in cold water for about 30 min before applying the Lidocaine 1% -2% gel.
3. We kept the burn clean and in a water bath for 3 hrs.
4. I gave him ibuprofen.
5. I put Vit E sterile liquid on the burn and then Erythromycin ointment on top and covered with a very large band aid to go to mass.
6. I put Silver sulfadiazine 1% to wound. This was an Rx.
7. Polyhexanide/betaine gel Prontosan Wound Irrigation Solution and Wound Gel may be better but many insurances do not cover it. Polyhexanide/betaine gel Prontosan Wound Irrigation Solution and Wound Gel
When you go to the ER, this is what they will do if it is a bad burn.
1. Give you strong pain meds even oral anesthesia
2. Debride the burn: take out all necrotic tissue and dead skin.
3. Apply the below
The treatments MD’s will recommend are:
1. Silver sulfadiazine or
2. Polyhexanide/betaine gel Prontosan Wound Irrigation Solution and Wound Gel
4. Some centers are now using sterile Tilapia skin as artificial skin.
The Key Concerns:
1. Risk of infection
2. Risk of contracture (scar tissue) if skin is burned badly.
Int J Low Extrem Wounds. 2017 Mar;16(1):45-50. doi: 10.1177/1534734617690949. Epub 2017 Feb 1.