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Thermal (Heat or Fire) Burns (cont.)

What Is the Medical Treatment for Thermal Burns?

Patient Comments

Depending on the nature and severity of the burned area, these treatments may be given.

  • Gentle cleansing may be performed of the burned area.
  • Blisters will be cared for. Some doctors may debride blisters (cut away dead tissue). Others may leave them intact. There is no right or wrong approach. Blisters on the soles of the feet or palms of the hands will usually be left intact.
  • Depending on the extent of the burn, the doctor may order fluids to be taken by mouth or to be administered by IV.

Also, depending on the severity and extent of the burn, the doctor may advise or request that care be continued at a special Burn Center. Specific criteria exist for such cases and have been established by the American Burn Association. Criteria may include any full thickness burn greater than 5%; partial thickness burn greater than 20% in people between ages 10-50; any partial thickness burn greater than 10% in children younger than 10 years and older than 50 years of age; any significant burns to the ears, eyes, hands, feet, or genitals.

What Are the Medications to Treat Thermal Burns?

  • Topical antibiotic ointment may be applied. This may be a triple antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin, Bacitracin, or Silvadene (a topical antibiotic commonly used for burn care).
  • Pain medication - The doctor may tell you to use ibuprofen or acetaminophen if the burn is minor and the pain is mild. If pain is severe, the doctor may prescribe a narcotic pain reliever, such as Tylenol with codeine or hydrocodone.
  • Tetanus update

What Is the Follow-up for Thermal Burns?

After receiving care in a hospital's emergency department for a burn, it is always wise to follow up with your doctor to have the burn reexamined.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/16/2016

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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Thermal Burns (Heat or Fire):

Thermal Burn - Causes

How did you receive a thermal burn? How serious (deep) was the burn?

Thermal Burn - Self-Care at Home

What were some home remedies you used to treat your thermal burn?

Thermal Burn - Medical Treatment

What medical treatment did you receive for a thermal burn?

Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Burns, Thermal »

Burn injuries account for an estimated 700,000 annual emergency department (ED) visits per year.

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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