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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    When should someone seek medical attention for a burn?

  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Kaitlin Edin


    Kaitlin Edin has been in practice since 2009 and has worked in a variety of clinical situations including group and private practice; as well as … View Profile

    It is a good idea to always seek medical attention for a burn. Sometimes you can burn yourself and not really realise just how badly you might have burned the area. Even what you might consider a minor burn can create a potential for infection or scarring, so it's always a good idea to have it checked out…

    So if know you've just brushed past that hot oven and only slightly scorched yourself, or heaven forbid nicked your ear with that hair straightener, (ouch!) or even spent too long out in the sun when you know you should've put on some more lotion on those ears of yours, or if you've had the doctor check it out and they've said ‘time will heal it’, then there are some fascinating and very effective acupuncture techniques that can be utilised to reduce the pain, stabilise the wound and promote fast and efficient healing of that little burn that is generally a painful reminder of that slip in concentration.

    But get to an acupuncturist that is competent with Dr Manaka's protocols and polarity techniques, as soon as possible after injurying yourself.

  • 3


    Dr Jillian Tomlinson

    Hand Surgeon, Plastic Surgeon

    Dr Jill Tomlinson is a fully qualified plastic, reconstructive and hand surgeon. After graduating dux in her year at University High School, Jill completed medical … View Profile

    A simple answer is to seek medical attention from your GP or from an emergency department for any burns that you are concerned about.

    Most sunburns and minor burns do not require medical attention. If you sustain a burn it is recommended that you hold the affected area under cold running tap water for 20 minutes - this reduces the burning process and improves the outcome of a burn, plus it helps to relieve the pain of a burn. Cold compresses and simple pain medications (such as paracetamol and ibuprofen) are also helpful for pain relief. Don't apply ice to a burn - freezing your skin causes further injury. Keep the affected area elevated wherever possible to reduce swelling and remove any tight clothing or jewellery (eg rings).

    In the event of a severe burn you should apply first aid and call 000 for an ambulance.

    For less severe burns it is wise to seek medical attention if
    - you are unable to manage your pain
    - the skin has blistered over a significant area, especially if the blisters have burst or are larger than a 5 cent piece
    - the burned skin has lost sensation and looks “cooked”
    - if the burn affects your face, hands, nose, mouth, lips, genitals, eyes or other crucial body areas
    - you have sustained a chemical or electrical burn
    - you want to receive the best advice on how to prevent visible scarring and skin contracture
    - you have other medical problems that may interfere with your healing (eg diabetes)
    - you don't know what sort of dressing to apply to your burn
    - you have concerns or you're simply not sure what to do!

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