Very minor burns can be treated at home. Superficial burns usually don’t need any dressings. Moisturizing, after-sun or calamine lotions can ease some of the discomfort.
When to seek medical help
Medical help is needed:
- For all partial and full thickness burns.
- For superficial burns covering an area larger than the palm of the hand.
- For burns on the face, hand or in the grain.
- Where there is any doubt the extent of the burn or how to deal with it.
At the hospital, doctors will continue first-aid measures and protect the damaged skin with dressings.
Healthy skin prevents loss of fluid from the tissue underneath and is also a very effective barrier to infection. These functions are lost when the skin is burned. After severe burns, large quantities of fluid can be lost through the skin. This can have a serious affect on the heart and circulation. This is why people with serious burns need to be closely monitored and often require intravenous fluids to help their circulation.
Recovering from burns
The time taken for burns to heal depends on how serious they are. Most superficial burns heal within about two weeks and do not usually leave a scar.
Deeper burns take longer to heal and sometimes require skin drafts. This is a plastic surgery technique using skin from an unaffected part of the body to repair an injured area of skin that is not going to be able to heal itself. Full thickness burns tend to result in scars that can be difficult to treat. Specialist treatment by plastic surgeons in these cases is aimed at minimizing such scars.
For most people, the greatest threat of injury or death from fire is in the home
The most common causes of fire are:
- Smoking related fires (e.g. cigarette ends/matches)
- Cooking-related (e.g. chip pans)
- Heaters and electric fires.
A simple bedtime routine can prevent fires.
- Make sure all cigarettes are extinguished. Do not smoke in bed.
- Turn off all electrical appliances that don’t need to be on (e.g. hairdryers)
- Turn off portable heaters.
- Make sure open fires have a suitable fireguard and are safe to leave.
- Close all doors to prevent any fire spreading.
One of the most painful injuries that one can ever experience is a burn injury. When a burn occurs to the skin, nerve endings are damaged causing intense feelings of pain. Thousands die as a result of their burns. Many require long term hospitalization. Burn are a leading cause of unintentional death, exceeded in numbers only by automobile crashes and falls.
Burns are classified in two ways: Method ad degree of burn.