What is a burn and what are the degrees of burn? How can burns be treated? What are the applications that should be avoided in superficial burns? For which burns should I go to a doctor?
What is Burn?
A burn is the skin and tissue damage caused by exposure to high temperatures of boiling water, electricity, flame or chemicals. Burns, especially as a result of accidents in children, can create severe skin damage and leave marks.
Most people can get rid of this condition without experiencing serious problems depending on the cause and degree of injury, but if more severe burns are not treated, complications can lead to permanent severe scars and even death. Specialists should do treatment of burn marks caused by severe burns. Burn treatment is in the field of plastic surgery.
What are the Degrees of Burn?
Burns are categorised into three main degrees. These are called first-, second- and third-degree burns. Each burn level is named according to the severity of the damage. The first-degree burns are the mildest burns, while the third-degree burns are the most severe. Degrees of burns are as follows;
- First-degree burns: The skin becomes red and blisters appear on the skin.
- Second-degree burns: The skin becomes red and there are more blisters on the skin.
- Third-degree burns: Damage occurs in the upper and lower layers of the skin.
There is also a fourth-degree burn. Such burns show up all the symptoms of third-degree burns as well as the damage to the skin extends to the tendons or the bones.
Burns occur due to specific reasons.
- Burning with boiling water
- Chemical burns
- Electric burns
- Flames such as candles or lighter,
- Excessive sun exposure
The level of burning does not depend on the cause. For example, the burn caused by spring water may be first- or third- degree. The level of the burn depends on the skin’s destruction by the burn. Even if the damage to chemical and electrical burns is small, medical intervention is required immediately. Because even if the skin damage is little, it can affect the whole body. In such burns, burn treatment can take a longer and more complicated process.
How are Burns Treated?
Immediate medical treatment is required for the third and fourth degrees. And it should be treated only in the hospital. However, first- and second-degree burns are mild burns and can be easily treated at home. It may take a week or two for mild burns to heal completely. No burn marks are left on the skin after healing. The purpose of the treatment of injuries at this level is to reduce pain, prevent possible infections and heal the skin faster. The first interventions that can be done at home in mild burns can be listed as follows;
- Cold Water: The first thing to do in the superficial burn, such as the first-degree burn, should be applying cold water for approximately 20 minutes to the burned area. Then the burned area should be washed gently with soap and water.
- Cold Compress: A cold compress or a clean wet cloth to be placed on the burning area removes both pain and swelling. The cold compress can be applied at 5- or 10-minute intervals. However, care should be taken not to use extreme cold compresses because the extreme cold can increase the damage on the skin.
- Antibiotic Ointments: Antibiotic ointments and burn creams help prevent possible infections. After applying antibiotic cream to the burned area, dressing is done by covering with a clean cloth.
- Aloe Vera: Aloe vera is often referred to as a ‘burn plant’. Research has proven that it is effective in the healing of first- or second- degree burns. Also, Aloe vera is anti-inflammatory. It improves circulation and prevents bacterial growth. A pure layer of aloe vera gel can be applied to the burned area, taken directly from the leaf of the aloe vera plant. If you do not have an aloe vera plant in your home, a purchased aloe vera cream will be sufficient. However, it should be noted that there must be a high rate of aloe vera in this cream. For the treatment of first- or second-degree burns, products containing colouring and perfume should never be used.
- Honey: Honey is a very effective way to heal mild burns. Because it has an anti-inflammatory effect, it is also a natural antibacterial and antifungal.
- Protect from the Sun: It is very important that the burned area is not directly exposed to sunlight because burned skin is very sensitive to the sun.
- Don’t Pop the Blisters: Blisters on the skin that occur after burns should not be popped. Because popping the blisters can cause infection.
Over-the-counter Pain Relief: If you have pain and it bothers you, an over-the-counter pain reliever can be taken. However, it should be paid attention to take the correct dosage by reading the instructions. It is important not to act according to incorrect information in cases where burns are treated at home. Recommendations of people without medical knowledge should not be taken into consideration. Because if these give bad results, it can cause irreversible damage.
Applications to Avoid in Superficial Burns
- Do Not Apply Various Oils to the Burned Region: Contrary to popular belief, coconut oil is not good for burns. Such oils cause bacteria to colonize on the skin.
- Do Not Use Toothpaste for Burns: Never use toothpaste for burn treatment. Because toothpaste can irritate burnt skin more, cause infection, it is not sterile.
- Do Not Use Ice: Ice or excessively cold water may further irritate the burning area. And if not used properly, ice can even cause a cold burn.
When Should I See a Doctor?
First- or second-degree burn treatment can be done at home. However, third-degree burns should never be treated at home. Because it can have severe risks varying from infection to shock. In some cases, even if the burn is first or second degree, you should see a doctor:,→ If the burn area is larger than 10 cm
- If the face, hand, hip or groin area is burned
- If there is a lot of pain and smell
- If you have a fever
- If it is a third-degree burn
- If the tetanus vaccine has not been received before or five years have passed since the last vaccination
There is a high probability of a scar remaining after a third-degree burn. However, developing technology and surgical applications can produce miraculous results on burn marks. It is very important to have specialists and appropriate treatment environments in the treatment of all other scars, including burn marks. Wrong treatments can have irreversible consequences.
What is the Cost of Burn Treatment?
It is against the law in Turkey for the healthcare organisations including private practices to indicate prices online for procedures, treatments or consultations. Please contact us by calling or texting ?+90 541 334 3484 (WhatsApp available) or ☏ +90 212 257 1515 for the average cost of the intervention or any other enquiries related to the intervention.