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Fact or Fiction: Burns
by Staff
Most of us have suffered a burn at some point or another -- and chances are, it was minor and healed relatively quickly. But do you know if you should run cold water over minor burns? What happens when you have hot tar stuck to your skin? And can you have a burn that's not visible on your skin? See how well you respond to these most burning questions.

There are three burn classifications.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: There are four.

First- and second-degree burns are considered minor; third- and fourth- degree burns are major.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: First- ,second- and third- degree burns are minor.

You should run cold water over minor burns to relieve the pain.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: You should use warm water, not cold.

Putting an ice pack on a minor burn will help reduce the swelling.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: The ice pack will also decrease healing time.

You should never break a burn blister.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Go ahead and pop it if it looks infected.

If you're dealing with major burns, you should take off the victim's clothes.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Take off only the clothes that look to be in danger of sticking to the burns.

Immersing severe burns in cold water could cause hypothermia.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: It could cause hyperthermia.

Burns make you susceptible to tetanus.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Typically, only major burns could make you vulnerable to tetanus.

You should never use water to treat a chemical burn.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Water can be used to treat burns from certain chemicals.

Some electrical burns don't show up on the skin at all.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Some chemical burns don't show up on the skin.

You should never touch an electrical burn victim.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Only touch the victim if he or she is still in contact with the electrical source.

Third-degree burns go through all layers of the skin.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Third-degree burns affect the top three layers of the skin.

Fourth-degree burns are basically very large third-degree burns.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Fourth-degree burns are on the most sensitive areas of the skin, like the face.

Most burns in young children are friction burns.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: They're mostly scald burns.

Most burns happen at home.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Most burns happen in hazardous chemical plants.

Men get burned a little more than women do.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Men get burned twice as often as women do.

Most minor burns heal on their own.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: True, but you should still seek medical attention.

If hot tar or plastic has melted onto your skin, you should pour cooking oil on it.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: You should run cold water over it.

A 0.5 percent hydrocortisone cream is a basic home burn treatment.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: You should get 2 percent.

Aloe juice can soothe a minor burn.

  • fact
  • fiction
  • almost fact: Yes, but only if it's a sunburn.