Fact or Fiction: Burns


By: Staff

4 Min Quiz

Image: refer to hsw

About This Quiz

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.

There are four types: first-, second-, third- and fourth-degree.


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

Only first-degree burns -- and second-degree burns that are less than 3 inches in diameter -- are considered minor.


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

Cool water is actually what you're looking for.


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

You should never put ice on a burn -- it can make your body too cold and exacerbate the burn.


You should never break a burn blister.

Popping a burn blister will make you more prone to infection, so resist the temptation.


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

You shouldn't removed burned clothing -- you might end up doing more harm than good.


Immersing severe burns in cold water could cause hypothermia.

Cold water could induce hypothermia and shock.


Burns make you susceptible to tetanus.

People with minor burns shouldn't worry, but you'll probably want to get a tetanus shot or a booster if you've had a major burn.


You should never use water to treat a chemical burn.

With any chemical burn, you should first flush out the burn with cool water.


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

Electrical burns often cause internal damage instead of external.


You should never touch an electrical burn victim.

Before you touch the victim, be absolutely sure that the source of the burn has been turned off or otherwise removed from the scene.


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

Yes, third-degree burns affect every layer of the skin, to the tissue underneath it.


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

Fourth-degree burns affect more than the skin -- they can injure muscle, nerves and bone.


Most burns in young children are friction burns.

Most burns in kids ages 5 and under are scald burns from hot liquids.


Most burns happen at home.

You would think hazardous chemical plants would be a hotbed for burns, but no -- most of us sustain burns at home.


Men get burned a little more than women do.

Yes, men are twice as likely to have burn injuries.


Most minor burns heal on their own.

Home treatment is fine for minor burns -- no need to call the doctor.


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

The cold water will cool off the tar or plastic, which is the most important first step.


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

A 0.5 percent hydrocortisone cream is a good addition to your first aid kit for treatment of minor burns.


Aloe juice can soothe a minor burn.

It doesn't matter what caused the burn -- when a first-degree or minor second-degree burn is a couple of days old, aloe vera can ease pain and swelling.


Explore More Quizzes

About HowStuffWorks Play

How much do you know about dinosaurs? What is an octane rating? And how do you use a proper noun? Lucky for you, HowStuffWorks Play is here to help. Our award-winning website offers reliable, easy-to-understand explanations about how the world works. From fun quizzes that bring joy to your day, to compelling photography and fascinating lists, HowStuffWorks Play offers something for everyone. Sometimes we explain how stuff works, other times, we ask you, but we’re always exploring in the name of fun! Because learning is fun, so stick with us!