Does This Look Bad: 5 Signs of Infected Burn

signs of infected burn

Did you recently get a burn somewhere on your body?

You might not think it’s a big deal since people get minor burns all the time. 

If it improves each day, then you probably don’t need to worry. Yet if it’s not healing and starting to show the telltale signs of infected burn, then you may want to consider heading to urgent care.

You may need antibiotics.

Tell-Tale Signs of Infected Burn

As the skin around a burn blisters and fills with fluid, it becomes vulnerable to infection. 

If you see or experience the following, you could have an infection:

  1. Any change in color of the burnt area or the skin surrounding it
  2. Swelling with purplish discoloration
  3. Increased thickness of the burn with it extending deep into the skin
  4. Green discharge or pus
  5. Presence of a fever

The rule of thumb is that if there is a change in the burn’s appearance or how you feel, you should consult with a doctor.

How Was the Burn Handled?

What caused your burn and how it was handled will make a difference in terms of the damage, and its ability to heal.

Because damage to the skin continues as long as the burn is hot, stopping the burning process as quickly as possible is crucial. 

You should immediately run a burn under cool — though not cold or icy — running water for at least 20 minutes.

If clothing got stuck to your burn, and you pulled it off, you will be more prone to infection. Ideally, any clothing stuck to a burn should be left there and run under cool water.

The same holds true for a burn caused by hot and sticky liquid. While logic would seem to dictate immediately removing the liquid, your best bet is to cool the whole area first with water.

Finally, any chemical or electrical burn has the potential to be far more serious than it may appear on the surface. In both cases, seek professional help in treating such burns.

First or Second-Degree Burn?

You may still believe that you’re only dealing with a minor burn.

Determining burn degrees is a relatively difficult task, though, even for professionals.

In the first 48 hours, the skin appearance can change. This is normal and part of what makes it difficult to assess the damage.

What may appear as a surface burn could go deeper though. You should take the potential for damage to these deeper tissues seriously. 

If a burn on your hand gets infected, it could lead to lifelong issues with movement and function.

Plus, burns to the face, eyes, ears, feet, or genital area can also be problematic. Left untreated, these burns could cause permanent damage.

That’s why seeing a professional is of the essence.

Why Take Chances?

If your burn is not healing properly and/or you are experiencing any of the above five signs of infected burn, then it’s a good idea to head to your nearest urgent care clinic.

For top-of-the-line care in the Oxford, Mississippi area, walk-in or contact us today. We’re happy to answer your questions.