First Degree Burn
Superficial – First degree burns typically take 3 to 6 days to heal. The superficial or first layer of skin is damaged. Examples of a superficial – First degree burns are: mild sunburns, contact burn injuries, or heat burns.
Second Degree burn
Superficial – Second degree burns usually heal in less than 3 weeks depending on severity. The deeper or thicker the burned skin the longer the injury makes take to heal.
Third Degree Burn
Deep – Third degree burns are severe and may require skin graphs and a protracted recovery period – more than 3 weeks. Full-thickness burns, without skin grafts; heal only at the edges by scarring. A skin graft is a very thin layer of skin that is cut from an unburned area on the body and put on a badly burned area.
Determining the severity of burns
- Source of the burn – a minor burn caused by nuclear radiation is more severe than a burn caused by thermal sources. Chemical burns are dangerous because the chemical may still be on the skin.
- Body regions burned – burns to the face are more severe because they could affect airway management or the eyes. Burns to hands and feel are also of special concern because they could impede movement of fingers and toes.
- Degree of the burn – The degree of the burn is important because it could cause infection of exposed tissues and permit invasion of the circulatory system.
- Extent of burned surface areas – It is important to know the percentage of the amount of the skin surface involved in the burn. The adult body is divided into regions, each of which represents nine percent of the total body surface. These regions are the head and neck, each upper limb, the chest, the abdomen, the upper back, the lower back and buttocks, the front of each lower limb and the back of each lower limb. This makes up 99 percent of the human body. The remaining one percent is the genital area. With an infant or small child, more emphasis is placed on the head and trunk.
- Age of the patient – This is important because small children and senior citizens usually have more severe reactions to burns and different healing processes.
- Pre-existing physical or mental conditions – Patients with respiratory illnesses, heart disorders, diabetes or kidney disease are in greater jeopardy than normally healthy people.
Treatment of burns
Cool a burn with water. Do what you must to get cool water on the burn as soon as you can. Go to the nearest water faucet and turn on the cold spigol and get cool water on the burn. Put cool, water-soaked cloths on the burn. If possible, avoid icy cold water and ice cubes. Such measure could cause further damage to burned skin.
Anatomy and physiology of the skin
The skin is made up of three layers and is the largest organs of the body
a. The surface or outlet layer
b. Serves as a barriers between out body and the environment
- Thick layer of collagen connective tissue below the thin epidermis.
- Contains the important support structures and sensory nerves, i.e. hair follicles, sweat glands, oil glands.