How to Treat a Friction Burn (And When You Should Go to the Hospital)

friction burn

Of all the different types of burn, friction burn is the most common non-thermal type. Most friction burns are minor, and you can treat them at home. But you shouldn’t overlook the severity of the burn, because it may need hospital treatment.

Here, you can learn how to treat friction burns at home and how to identify when you need to go to the hospital for more severe burn treatment.

First, Identify the Severity of the Burn

If you or a loved one suffers from a friction burn, the first thing you need to look for is how deep the damage goes. If the burn only damages the top layer of skin, it is likely a minor burn that you can treat at home. If the damage goes deeper than the outer layer of skin, you may need professional care.

Keep an eye out for blisters, as this indicates a more serious burn. If there is any type of charring or whitish marks, this is a sign of a high degree burn that needs medical attention immediately.

Next, how widespread is the damage, and where is it located? If the burn covers a large or sensitive area, you should visit an urgent care for specialized care. Most urgent care centers accept walk-ins, or you can schedule an appointment ahead of time to save your spot in line.

If Minor, Treat the Friction Burn at Home

If you suffer a minor friction burn at home and want to treat it, start by running cold water over the affected area. The water will help clean the wound, and the cool temperature will reduce swelling. You can use soap to clean the area to decrease the risk of infection, as well.

After patting the burn dry, you can apply an antibiotic ointment. This will help in reducing inflammation and killing bacteria. Then, you can wrap the wounded area with a loose bandage or gauze, leaving enough room to breathe.

Lastly, you can take an over-the-counter painkiller to manage the pain. If you clean the wound, apply new ointment, and wrap it in fresh bandages every day, the burn should heal on its own within a few days. Avoid applying lotions or anything else that may irritate the area until it is healed.

If a blister has formed due to friction, do not break it. The skin of the blister forms a natural barrier to reduce the risk of infection. You should cover the blister to protect it, but give it enough space to breathe.

If the blister is too painful to ignore, you can follow these steps to remove it. If the burn area swells or hurts worse over time, go to the hospital for treatment. This will help you avoid complications and infections.

For Medical Treatment, Find an Urgent Care Near You

This short guide to identifying the severity of a friction burn should help you treat minor burns at home. If you are worried the burn needs professional treatment, ask your doctor for medical advice or go straight to an urgent care center near you.

At Coastal Urgent Care of Ruston, you can receive quality medical care for burns with the convenience you deserve. Visit our website for more information.