Jefferson University Hospitals

Frequently Asked Questions

Second and third-degree burns should be treated by specialists at the Jefferson Burn Center. First-degree burns only affect the outer most layer of skin, like sun burn. This type of superficial burn can be treated at home or until you can get medical attention. Here are five tips from the American Burn Association:

  • Cool the burn with running cool (not cold) water for at least 5 minutes. Do not use ice. 
  • Remove burned clothing, jewelry, watches and rings around the burned area.
  • Cover the burn loosely with a sterile gauze bandage or clean cloth.
  • Do not use ointments or creams.
  • Get medical help at the emergency department.

Burn occupational therapists focus on the functions of the hand involving activities of daily living and scar control. An occupational therapist at the Jefferson Burn Center will treat you by splinting for immobilization at the bedside, in the operating room and at home. They will also assist you with the use devices or exercises that will make it easier to adapt to your surroundings and abilities.

Your metabolism is connected to your recovery from burns, which means you may need assistance with adequate nutrition. At Jefferson, you'll have access to registered dietitians who will help you navigate your path to recovery.  

Scars typically form after a burn has healed. There are a variety of specialized treatments to control scarring in the hospital or at home. These include scar management, laser scar treatment, burn compression garments and alternatives to surgery. Talk to your doctor about your individual scar treatment plan.