Here discuss about Wound Care After Burn Injury, Types, Symptoms, and Treatments : Burns are tissue or skin damage caused by fire, heat, overexposure to the sun, chemical or electrical contact.
Burns is a common household injury. It can be minor or major depending on the cause and degree of the burn. A minor burn can be treated at home but a major burn is life-threatening and requires immediate medical care.
Types of burns
There are three types of burns. Each degree of burn is based on the severity of damage to the skin and underlying tissue.
The types of burns include:
1. First-degree burns
First-degree burns are the most minor burns. They usually cause minimal skin damage and don’t affect the underlying tissue. First-degree burns are also known as superficial burns because they affect just the outermost layer of skin (epidermis).
Causes of first-degree burns
The causes of first-degree burns include:
- Flashes of hot water or oil
- Mistakenly touching hot objects
Symptoms of first-degree burns
Signs of first-degree burns include:
- Redness of the skin
- Pain (burning sensation)
- Minor inflammation
Treatment of first-degree burns
First-degree burns are usually treated with home remedies. First-degree burns don’t usually require medical attention. You can treat yourself at home.
First-degree burns heal in a relatively short time. Treatments include:
Place the wound in cool water for about five minutes or more to cool down the burning sensation
Over-the-counter pain relievers
You can take over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
Apply antibiotic ointment over the burnt area to protect from infection.
Apply lidocaine with aloe vera gel or cream to soothe the skin if you feel increased pain.
Note: Most people make the mistake of placing ice on the burnt area. Do not do this, as placing ice on the burnt skin can worsen the damage. Avoid using herbal or other products that you are not sure of and haven’t beeg medically proven to be effective.
Second-degree burns are burns that extend beyond the first layer of the skin (epidermis) to the second layer of the skin (dermis). They are more serious than first-degree burns.
Symptoms of second-degree burns
The symptoms of second-degree burns include:
- Increased redness
- White or splotchy skin
- Blisters that pop
- Severe pain or soreness
- Scarring may occur
- Exudates may develop over the wound after some days
Causes of second-degree burns
- Falling over a pot of boiling water
- Holding a hot metal
- Falling or standing on a burning fire
Treatment of second-degree burns
Second-degree burns are delicate and require medical treatment and care.
Cleaning and bandaging
Keeping the area clean and bandaging it properly to prevent infection.
Run your skin under cool running water for 15 minutes or longer
Over-the-counter pain relievers
Taking over-the-counter pain relievers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen helps to reduce pain.
Applying antibiotic ointments and cream to blisters helps to prevent bacterial infection.
Third-degree burns are the most severe type of burns. These are burns that go through the epidermis, dermis and to the fat layer beneath the skin.
Third-degree burns cause severe damages and if not timely treated could lead to serious complications. Third-degree burns may not cause pain because the extensive burn may have destroyed the nerves responsible for pain transmission.
Third-degree burns require immediate medical treatment and care. Patients could die from third-degree burns if proper medical treatment is not provided on time.
Symptoms of third-degree burns
Symptoms of third-degree burns include:
- Waxy and white color
- Charred skin
- Dark brown colored skin
- Raised and leathery skin texture
- Severe blisters
- Nerve damage leading to numbness
Causes of third-degree burns
- Chemical such as strong acids
- Gasoline and fire accident
Treatment of third-degree burns
Third-degree burns carry severe risks and complications, such as infections, blood loss, severe dehydration, shock, and even death.
Tetanus infection is common with second and third-degree burns if adequate and timely treatment is not provided.
In addition to the second-degree treatment options, other additional treatment options for third-degree burns may include:
Cleaning the wound
The first line of action is to clean off the debris and blood from the wound.
If you have lost a significant amount of skin, your doctor will conduct a skin graft. A skin graft is a surgical procedure in which part of your own healthy skin is harvested from other areas of your body and used to replace the deep wound caused by deep burns. Your doctor may also use donor skin from deceased donors or pigs instead of your own skin.
Bandaging the wound
Bandage the burn with a sterile gauze bandage to encourage healing and prevent debris from getting in. Bandaging the burn also keeps air off the area, reduces pain and protects blistered skin.
Take a pain reliever
Over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and naproxen sodium can help relieve the pain you feel.
Your doctor may give you a tetanus shot to prevent tetanus infection.
If your burn occurred on your face or neck, your throat may swell shut. If this occurs or is likely to occur, your doctor may insert a tube down your windpipe to keep oxygen supply to your lungs.
If your skin is badly affected, you may need to undergo plastic surgery to reconstruct your skin. Undergoing plastic surgery helps to improve the appearance of burn scars.