How to treat burns, summer 2014 newsletter

A burn is one of the most common forms of skin damage. Burns are caused by excessive heat, sunlight, radiation, chemical, electrical or flame exposure to the skin. Certain burns, such as those caused by fire, electricity, strong chemicals, and radiation, should be promptly treated in the emergency room. However, most skin burns are caused by sun exposure, hot liquids, or contact with a hot surface such as a pan or hot iron. These burns are generally easily treated at home or in the outpatient dermatology clinic.

Minor burns are classified as either first or second degree burns. First degree burns involve red, painful and slightly swollen skin. Second degree burns develop blisters, and have a greater risk of complications like infection. Widespread minor burn cases may even include systemic symptoms such as fever and chills, nausea, headache, dizziness, and dehydration. People experiencing more severe systemic symptoms should seek medical attention immediately. Most minor burns are small and localized. Such burns will generally heal well even without treatment, but Advanced Dermatology offers options to dramatically improve healing time, and reduce the risk of complications. Fortunately, most minor burns can be easily treated at home.

At skinfo®, we offer excellent burn-management products. For example, the Avène Ablative Post Treatment Kit ($46 at skinfo®) is a simple two-step kit to help heal, calm, and sooth the skin after any heat related burn. First, apply the Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray to the burn. It will cool and calm the skin, as well as reduce redness. Next, to enhance and accelerate skin healing, apply Avène Cicalfate Restorative Skin Cream ($30) to the burn. Both of these products are fragrance and paraben-free, and they are perfect for at-home treatment of minor burns.

There is no doubt that sunburn is the most common type of skin burn. Unfortunately, sunburn can lead to skin-cellular damage and ultimately skin cancer. When it comes to sunburn, prevention is the best approach. Applying a high quality UVA/UVB sunblock with at least 5% zinc oxide is essential for blocking the sun’s damaging effect. Apply sunblock at least 15-20 minutes prior to sun exposure, and reapply every 80 minutes or after water exposure. skinfo® stocks many superior broad-spectrum sun blocks including a line by EltaMD®. In addition to applying sunblock, try to limit sun exposure during peak hours while the sun is directly overhead. Also consider wearing UV protective clothing as a very easy and effective way to reduce excessive sun exposure and sunburn.