Minor Wounds and Burns

Classification of minor wounds and burns

Wounds are classified primarily depending on their duration and their depth. Acute wounds usually heal within 3 weeks whereas in the case of chronic wounds the time since injury typically is more than 3 months. 24

Typical questions about wound and burn care:

Should a wound be covered or left uncovered; and should the blister from a burn be drained and removed or left as is?

The answer, in short, is to keep wounds covered, and after carefully piercing and draining a blister, keep the blister skin intact to keep it moist.26

Use a sterile needle to make a small hole in the blister, then drain the blister onto clean gauze. 26

Wounds that are kept moist: 24B,C p132

Heal faster

Are less painful

May leave less scarring after they have healed.

Acute wounds that need professional medical care 25A 1, 27
  • Puncture wounds or animal bites, and especially if you have not had a tetanus shot in the last 10 years
  • Severe second and third degree burn wounds
  • Gaping wounds with ragged edges that stay open and may require stitches
  • Wounds where you can see exposed fat, white tissue or muscle
  • Wounds with visible foreign matter such as gravel, glass or dirt
  • Wounds that are spraying blood
  • Wounds that cause severe pain, numbness or inability to move the limb
  • If you are using medications such a steroids or anticoagulants
Betadine® Antiseptics
How to treat a wound