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Two Signs That You Require Medical Attention After A Burn

by Terry Wilson

If you cook in your kitchen, add wood to your fireplace, or build a campfire in your backyard on occasion, then you may burn yourself on accident from time to time. First degree burns are the most common and they involve the top layer of the skin alone. These burns can be treated easily with cool water, pain relievers, and creams. A tetanus booster shot may be a good idea as well, and the burn should heal on its own. Sometimes burns will be more serious than a first degree burn. However, it can sometimes be hard to tell. Keep reading to learn about some signs of serious burns so you know when to visit a clinic, urgent care center, or your regular physician.

Absence Of Pain

Burns often hurt quite a bit and produce a great deal of discomfort. The burns hurt and throb due the large number of sensory nerves that line the skin. These nerves are responsible for transmitting sensations to the brain when the skin is exposed to stimuli. There are a wide variety of different skin receptors that respond to heat, pressure, and epidermal cell damage. Heat and cell damage receptors both become excited and produce strong sensations. Also, the specific pain receptors in the skin release strong messages due to the widespread damage that occurs when your skin is burned.

If you experience a fairly substantial burn across one area of your body, but you feel no pain, then this is a sign of a serious issue. When a burn causes you to feel no pain, then this is typically a sign that the injury has caused extensive damage throughout all the layers of your skin. This type of trauma damages all the nerves in the area and leaves the injured part of your body without any receptors that can create pain signals. 

If you experience nerve damage, then you are likely to feel very little from the burned area at all. You may feel some numbness and possibly some tingling sensations. These wounds need to be treated with some form of surgical intervention. All dead tissues must be removed and eventually replaced with a skin graft. 

Large Blisters

When you experience a burn, you may develop a blister across your body. Blisters are small pockets of serum or plasma that develop just underneath the epidermis. The blisters form when there is some sort of damage to the skin. The fluid that builds creates a pocket or a cushion that allows the cells underneath the fluid to heal properly. Most blisters are small and will pop on their own once the dermis begins to heal.

Bisters will typically appear regardless of the severity of your burn. However, first degree burns develop blisters once you start the healing process. The blisters will typically show up a few days after the burn. The blisters are also typically small. If you burn yourself more severely, then a blister will appear almost immediately. This is one of the telltale signs of a second or third degree burn. 

The presence of a blister is not all that concerning. However, blisters are much bigger when they form across severely burned skin. These large blisters are difficult to keep intact and they will often pop before your skin heals. When large blisters pop, they leave a big area behind where the epidermis is no longer intact. The epidermis is responsible for protecting the underlying tissues from infection. Without the epidermis, an infection is likely. To help prevent this sort of concern, a doctor will use a syringe to remove the fluid from the blister. The loose skin will then be smoothed down, and the area will be covered with ointment. This helps to protect the area and you will be informed about applying ointment daily and also how to cover the area when bathing.