Every one of us is bound to have suffered a minor or major burn at least once in our lives. In this article, we will answer the question: how long does it take for a first degree burn to heal? A skin burn is very unpleasant and painful, and depending on the degree of the burn, the healing time varies.
So how long does it take for a first degree burn to heal? Burns can take from about 2 weeks to several months to heal. There are 4 degrees of skin burns, depending on how badly the skin is damaged the healing time varies.
What is a burn?
A burn is a damage to the skin and tissues caused by the direct action of heat, electricity, radiation, or chemicals. There are four degrees of burn, depending on the extent and depth of the damage.
As many as 75% of all these accidents are burned to children, who are not always aware of the danger. Depending on the severity of the burn, we can implement treatment at home or in the hospital.
Types of burns
We already know that burns are divided into 4 degrees and that this division is determined by the depth of the damage and the accompanying symptoms. We distinguish between burns:
First degree – caused by strong sunlight or direct contact with boiling substances (usually water or other boiling liquid). The skin is red and burning, and inflammation may develop on its surface. In terms of providing help, cool with water or a cold compress (cooling or dry ice) and apply a hydrogel or traditional dressing. Ointments are also available in pharmacies to promote healing and inhibit inflammation.
Second-degree burns – lead to damage to nerve endings, which is manifested by strong pain in the burned area. Characteristic blisters filled with serous fluid appear, which should under no circumstances be punctured, as this may result in infection. In case of such burns, it is advisable to seek medical assistance.
Third-degree burns – caused by prolonged contact with a strongly acting agent, e.g. fire. They lead to necrosis of tissues and bones and the patient needs to be hospitalized. A skin graft may be needed for such extensive damage. Third-degree burns leave scars, and healing takes up to several months or more.
Fourth-degree burns – this is the most problematic and severe burn. The skin is virtually charred and the victim needs to be kept alive. Very few people survive these burns. If they can be saved, they will need many operations before they can function normally.
Burns can also be divided into superficial burns, which involve burning the epidermis. The wound heals quickly and usually leaves no marks. Intermediate, involving the epidermis and part of the thickness of the dermis. Heals approximately 2-3 weeks and requires specialist treatment. With proper management, scarring can be avoided.
Deep, involving the entire thickness of the skin, there is damage to nerves and other structures. These types of wounds require specialist treatment and rehabilitation.
First aid for 1st and 2nd-degree burns
We already know how long does it take for a first degree burn to heal, so it’s worth knowing what to do if you suffer one. A first-degree burn involves the epidermis and is characterized by pain, slight swelling, and reddening of the skin.
It should not leave scars. In the second case, in addition to the epidermis, superficial (grade II A burn) or deeper layers of the dermis (grade II B burn) are also burned. To assist, it is necessary to:
1) Cool the skin, if possible cool the burned area with lukewarm (never ice-cold water), or apply clean, cool compresses or a special hydrogel dressing.
2) Apply a dressing, if the wound is clean it should be protected, preferably with an appropriate dressing, do not apply any oils or grease to the burn
3) Pain relief, if cool water has not relieved the pain, the casualty may take an analgesic or anti-inflammatory. Depending on the severity of the pain, these may be over-the-counter remedies or stronger drugs prescribed by a doctor
4) Medical consultation, if the burn is a 2nd-degree burn or more serious after first aid treatment further advice should be sought from a doctor. Depending on the severity of the burn, the doctor may prescribe painkillers and ointments to speed up healing.
First-degree burns take 10 to 14 days to heal, and second-degree burns take 14 to 20 days. After this time, it is a good idea to lubricate the skin with a scar ointment, which contains a complex of vitamins A, D, and E, marigold extract, elderberry seed extract, or snail slime extract.
Burns treatment at home
Cool the burned area until the burning stops. If possible, in light burns (1st or 2nd degree) not exceeding 10% of the body surface, keep the burned area under a jet of cold water for at least 10-15 minutes (1st degree) or 30 minutes (2nd degree).
If the burn is already cooled and cleaned, home remedies such as aloe vera gel, honey, or calendula ointment can be used to treat the burn.
Another proven home remedy for burns is an infusion of chamomile, calendula, elderberry, or starflower, which have regenerative and antibacterial properties. Try to avoid fast foods like McDonald’s or KFC, and eat something healthy, you should even avoid sugar in candies.
It is enough to soak cotton wool in lukewarm infusion and wipe the damaged skin with it several times a day, but if these methods do not help you should see a doctor. In this article, you can see statistics on the most common causes of skin burn.
In Summary – How long does it take for a first degree burn to heal?
Burns are classified according to the area of the body they cover and the condition of the tissues after the burn. I and II degree burns are the most common, while III degree burns are fortunately relatively rare.
We also know how to act in the case of a thermal burn. Even sauna can cause you a first degree burn, so you need to be cautious while using them.
What is first aid, and how long does it take for a first degree burn to heal? If you have suffered second-degree burns and above, you will need to seek medical attention or even hospital treatment. If you want to know how long it takes to heal a broken arm, you can read about it here.