Burns are tissue injuries resulting from heat, chemicals, electricity, or ultraviolet light exposure. First-degree burns and the majority of second-degree burns may be treated at home. Burns of the third degree may be fatal and need professional medical treatment. Each year, about 500,000 Americans seek medical attention for unintentional burns.
Healthcare professionals categorize burns according to their severity. Your physician will assess the severity of the skin injury. Burn degrees include:
Burns of the first degree are moderate (like most sunburns). The epidermis gets red and becomes painful, although it does not often blister.
Second-degree burns damage the upper and lower layers of the skin (dermis). You may feel discomfort, inflammation, blistering, and redness.
Burns of the third degree afflict all three layers of skin: epidermis, dermis, and fat. Also destroyed by the burn are hair follicles and sweat glands. Burned skin might seem black, white, or red and leathery. Because third-degree burns injure nerve endings, you will likely not experience pain in the burn but rather in the region around it.
Seek medical attention if:
Treatment for burns varies based on their source and severity. Depending on the severity of the burns, you must keep them clean and apply the appropriate bandages/dressings. Poor pain management might impede wound care in treating the patient's discomfort.
Continue to inspect wounds for symptoms of infection and other long-term complications, such as scarring and skin tightening over joints and muscles, which makes movement difficult.
Treatments vary by type of burn and include:
First-degree burns: Apply cold water to the affected area. Do not use ice. Use aloe vera gel to treat sunburns. Apply antibiotic cream and softly treat heat burns with gauze. Additionally, you may use over-the-counter pain medicine.
Second-degree burns: are treated similarly to first-degree burns. By elevating the burnt region, pain and edema may be reduced. To destroy germs, your doctor may prescribe a more potent antibiotic cream containing silver, such as silver sulfadiazine.
Third-degree burns are potentially fatal and often need skin transplants. Skin grafts replace damaged tissue with healthy skin harvested from an entire body. The region from which a skin transplant is harvested often heals independently. Suppose the individual does not have enough skin available for a transplant at the time of damage. In that case, a temporary supply of grafts may come from a dead donor or a human-made (artificial) source, but these will need to be replaced with the person's skin in the future. In addition, additional fluids (often administered intravenously) are given to maintain blood pressure and avoid shock and dehydration.
27 year old African American male with burn to nasal tip shown 1 day after injury, 1 week after injury and 1 month after injury. Patient did not have any surgery or laser treatments. Patient only used Bacitracin antibiotic ointment twice a day for the 1st week and and then Dr. Speron’s Natural Skin Care Scar Support Treatment twice a day after that. Patient was lost to follow up so no further pictures are taken.