Can Urgent Care Treat a 2nd Degree Burn?

July 20, 2022

Patients no longer need to wait for hours in the emergency room to receive medical treatment when they want it. Second-degree burns can be extremely painful, and you want medical care as soon as possible. It’s important to understand what burns can be treated in urgent care and which should be seen at the hospital.

AFC Urgent Care Stoneham has the necessary equipment to treat minor to moderate burns. If your burn is larger than 3 inches or is in a more difficult area of the body, it’s best to visit the ER. Our urgent care center is ready to help treat all conditions that are not life-threatening. Visit our walk-in clinic in Stoneham today for care.


How Deep is the Burn?

Burn degrees are classified by how many layers of skin have been damaged. The larger the number, the “deeper” the burn is, and the more serious it is.

  • First-degree burns are considered more superficial. They only impact the top layer of skin and cause redness, dry skin, and pain. Most sunburns are considered first-degree burns.
  • Second-degree burns impact more layers of skin, the epidermis, and the dermis. Blisters may form with second-degree burns, and the burn may be swollen and painful.
  • Third-degree burns destroy the epidermis and dermis layers of skin. These burns begin to impact the subcutaneous tissue. The skin may appear to be white or charred.
  • Fourth-degree burns are the most severe. These burns completely go through the skin and may even impact muscle or bone. Fourth-degree burns are typically not painful, as the nerve endings are completely destroyed.

Any burn that is second-degree or higher requires medical attention. All third and fourth-degree burns should be treated in the emergency room.


Where is it?

If you have a burn in certain areas of the body, you may be more susceptible to infection, or the burn may be harder to care for. If you receive a burn on your face, hands, feet, genitals, any burn that goes all the way around the limb, or if it stretches along a joint, it may be best to receive emergency care.


How Big is the Burn?

The larger the burn, the more serious the care should be. The surface of your palm is considered to be 1% of the skin surface. Any burn that is 3% or larger requires medical attention for adults, and anything larger than 3% for children requires medical attention.


Urgent Care vs. Emergency Room

As mentioned earlier, the more severe burns should be treated in the emergency room. If a burn is larger than 10% of the skin, a third or fourth-degree burn, or is in a more sensitive area, it’s best to visit the emergency room.

First-degree burns can often be treated with at-home care. Second-degree burns that are smaller than 10% can mostly be treated at AFC Stoneham. If the medical provider thinks you need further care, you may be referred to a burn specialist or the emergency room. 

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