Also part of the UPMC family:
Also part of the UPMC family:

‚ÄčLearn About Burns

UPMC Content 2

Burn Injury Facts

  • Each year, 40,000 Americans are hospitalized for burn injuries.
  • Almost half of all burns happen at home.
  • Scald injuries from hot liquids are the leading cause of burns among young children .
  • Burn injuries can happen in seconds, but their effects can last a lifetime.

What Is a Burn?

A burn is an injury from heat, cold, chemicals, radiation, or electricity. Burns can be minor or very serious, depending on what part and how much of the body is affected.

Burns can affect different layers of the skin:

  • First-degree burns: The top (epidermis) layer of skin turns red/pink and is mildly painful. Some swelling may occur, but no blisters form.
  • Second-degree burns: The top and middle (dermis) layers of skin are injured, causing blisters, pain, and swelling. The blisters may break, and the skin underneath will be red/pink and wet.
  • Third-degree burns: All skin layers are destroyed, and the skin becomes white, dry, and painless.

How to Treat a Burn

Burns require fast medical attention. However, you can follow the steps below to help until medical attention is available.

  • Drop and Roll: Drop and roll to extinguish flames, if clothing is on fire. (For scalds, immediately remove hot, wet clothing.)
  • Stop the Burning Process: Cool burned areas initially with water, then cover with clean dry gauze or sheets. Do not apply ice as this will constrict blood flow to the burn area and can extend the depth of injury as well as contribute to hypothermia.
  • Remove Burned Clothing: Lay the person flat: Remove non-sticking clothing. Loosen or remove tight clothing, jewelry, or boots before swelling occurs.
  • Cover the Burn: After cooling the burn with water, apply a clean dry dressing to the burned area. Cover the person to stay warm.
  • Get Medical Help: Get the person to a hospital. Never underestimate the seriousness of a burn.
  • Don't Use Ointments: Do not apply ointments, sprays, first aid creams, or butter to a burn.

Source: The Burn Foundation


Find a Doctor

Browse UPMC doctors and medical professionals to find the care that's right for you. Customize your search by specialty, zip code, last name, and more.


Visit the UPMC Find a Doctor website.
Make an Appointment

Find important information on scheduling your appointment or finding a doctor or service that meets your needs.


Request an appointment now.
Find a Location

Browse addresses and contact information for our network of hospitals, specialty care practices, and community health locations.


Find a UPMC location near you.
Pay Your Bill

Learn more about how to pay your UPMC bill. Find resources including payment methods and contact information for assistance.


Pay your bill now.
Find a Job

Advance your career with UPMC. Discover our latest job listings and learn about our values and career pathways.


Find your ideal job at UPMC.