There are three types of burns: first, second and third degree:
• Occurs when only the outer later of skin is burned. It is the least serious type of burn and can cause the skin to turn red, with slight swelling and pain similar to a sunburn.
• This burn injures the outer layer of skin and extends to the second layer, which is called the dermis. It can cause the skin to turn red, blisters to develop and severe pain and swelling.
• This is the most serious type of burn and affects all three layers of the skin. It can char the skin or cause a dry, white appearance and can result in permanent tissue damage. If a person is extremely burned, he or she may require a skin graft.
Plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon and Editor-in-Chief of Fitness Magazine, Betty Wong, discuss the best way to care for a peeling sunburn. Dr. Ordon says that the blisters that form after a sunburn act as a natural dressing for tender, burned skin and advises against peeling it. He recommends soothing it with aloe straight from the plant and Betty recommends lavender oil.
"Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory qualities," Betty says. "Sit in the bath with a few drops of lavender oil, and voila, the pain is gone!"
Treating a Burn
The Doctors demonstrate the right and wrong ways to treat a burn.
• Treating a burn to prevent scarring
• New treatment of burn scars
• Severe burn treatment
• Triplets' burn story
Hot Water Dangers
Nearly 50 percent of hot water burns occur when parents place their children in bath water that is too hot. It takes 30 seconds for a child to get a third-degree burn from water at 130 degrees F, five seconds if the water is at 140 degrees F and just two seconds if the water is at 150 degrees F.
"Kids and older people are at risk to actually die from severe burns," plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon says. "Their bodies will lose fluids more quickly and are more susceptible to shock."
Water heaters are often set between 140 and 150 degrees Fahrenheit at the factory. Turning down the temperature to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or less will reduce your chance of a serious burn.
Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears cautions parents to never leave a child in a bathtub unattended, even if there is no water in it. Children are often tempted to turn faucet handles, which can result in searing burns in a matter of moments.