Seek emergency medical care for burns that are moderate or severe, are widespread, or involve your hands, feet, groin or face. For less severe burns, you may need an appointment with your health care provider. The information below can help you prepare.
Prepare a list of questions so that you can make the most of your time with your doctor. For burns, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:
- Do I need treatment for the burn?
- What are my treatment options and the pros and cons for each?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
- Can I wait to see if the burn heals on its own?
- Do I need prescription medication, or can I use over-the-counter medications to treat the burn?
- What results can I expect?
- What skin care routines do you recommend while the burn heals?
- What kind of follow-up, if any, should I expect?
- What changes in my skin should I look for?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions, such as:
Aug. 21, 2012
- How did the burn occur?
- Do you have other symptoms?
- Do you have underlying health conditions, such as diabetes?
- What at-home burn treatments have you used, if any?
- Have you noticed any changes in the appearance of the burn?
- Wolff K, et al. Fitzpatrick's Color Atlas and Synopsis of Clinical Dermatology. 6th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2009. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=45. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Purdue GF, et al. Acute assessment and management of burn injuries. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2011;22:201.
- Marx JA, et al. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 7th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Mosby Elsevier; 2010. http://www.mdconsult.com/books/about.do?about=true&eid=4-u1.0-B978-0-323-05472-0..X0001-1--TOP&isbn=978-0-323-05472-0&uniqId=230100505-57. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Kowalske KJ. Burn wound care. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics of North America. 2011;22:213.
- Burns. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/injuries_poisoning/burns/burns.html?qt=burns&alt=sh. Accessed June 6, 2012.
- Goldman L, et al. Cecil Medicine. 24th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2012. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/191371208-2/0/1492/0.html#. Accessed June 7, 2012.
- Claypool DW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. June 27, 2012.
- Morgan ED, et al. Treatment of minor thermal burns. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 8, 2012.
- Leon-Villapalos J, et al. Principles of burn reconstruction: Overview of surgical procedures. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 8, 2012.
- SOAR: Survivors offering assistance in recovery. Phoenix Society. http://www.phoenix-society.org/programs/soar. Accessed June 8, 2012.
- Peck MD. Prevention of fire and burn injuries. http://www.uptodate.com/index. Accessed June 8, 2012.