Burn Care

If you burn your skin, turn to a UNC Health for care. Whether you’re burned due to heat or chemicals, you’ll need prompt treatment for the best possible recovery.

Symptoms of Burns

If you’re exposed to heat, electricity, chemicals, scalding water, or open flames, you may get burned. While the degree of your burn may vary, you’ll often experience:

  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Swelling

Burns caused by the sun, or sunburn, can damage your skin, too. You may notice that your skin is:

  • Tender or painful
  • Hot or warm to the touch
  • Itchy
  • Blistered

Severe sunburn can also cause headaches, fever, and nausea from overexposure. If you experience these symptoms, seek emergency medical attention or call 911 right away.

North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center

The North Carolina Jaycee Burn Center is a 36-bed facility treating adults and children with all levels of burns and infections. Learn more about the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill, NC.

Types of Burns

There are three levels of burns:

  • First-degree burns – Affect only the outermost layer of the skin, causing pain, redness, and swelling
  • Second-degree burns – Affect both the outer and inner layer of skin, causing pain, swelling, and blistering
  • Third-degree burns – Impact the deep layers of your skin, often leading to white or blackened, burned skin that can cause numbness

Treating Burns

You can often treat first-degree burns at home:

  • Run cold tap water over the burn
  • Apply burn creams and ointments to your burn
  • Bandage the burn to prevent infection
  • Take a pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, to reduce pain and swelling

If you’re concerned about treating your own burn, visit a UNC Health urgent care clinic for help.

Severe Burns & Emergency Care

If you have a second-degree or third degree burn, seek emergency care at your nearest UNC Health location. After a severe burn, you may need:

  • Surgery to repair or reconstruct the burn site
  • Rehabilitation, such as physical or occupational therapy
  • Wound care to keep your burn site healthy and avoid infection

When to See a Doctor

You can often treat first-degree burns at home. Whether you treat your burn at home or you’re seen in a hospital, talk to your doctor if your burn doesn’t heal, gets infected, or causes new pain.

Find a Doctor

Get outstanding, compassionate primary and specialty care from UNC Health. Find a doctor near you to request your appointment and get started.