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How to Treat a Burn That Is Infected?

author image Grace Ibay
Grace Ibay has been a freelance writer and blogger since 2005, specializing in the medical sciences and health care. She worked at Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health as a research associate and has been published in various scientific journals. Ibay holds a master's degree in health science from Johns Hopkins University in Maryland.
How to Treat a Burn That Is Infected?
Infection from second- and third-degree burns requires treatment.

Burned tissue or skin gets easily infected because the skin has lost its ability to protect the underlying tissues from microorganisms and debris. Fluids from blood vessels also leak onto the wound and cause the tissue to swell. Second- and third-degree burns are especially prone to infection because of severe damage to the underlying tissues. An infected burn may have pus, appear redder than before or have red streaks on the skin near the wound. Preventing and treating infections of major burns involves use of prescription drug silver sulfadiazine.

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Step 1

Gently run cool water over the burned area to clean the wound. Remove loose, dead or burned skin and other debris slowly and gently using sterile tweezers. An infected burn may have pus or fluid-filled blisters. Do not break any blisters. If pus is oozing, gently apply pressure with sterile gauze to remove pus. Trim dead skin from popped blisters using sterile scissors.

Step 2

Cover the cleaned wound with a thin layer of silver sulfadiazine cream. Always wear sterile gloves when applying the cream.

Step 3

Keep the wound covered with the medicine all the time and reapply as necessary. Apply dressing or bandage to the wound only on doctor's advice.

Step 4

Apply silver sulfadiazine until the burn heals completely or the skin is ready for grafting.

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