Burns and scalds are injuries to the body's tissue or skin. Depending on the depth and severity of the injury, they are categorised into three primary degrees.

Overview of Burns

  • First Degree:
    • Causes damage to the outer layer of the skin, known as the epidermis.
  • Second Degree:
    • Results in deeper damage, affecting the layer beneath the epidermis.
  • Third Degree:
    • Inflicts the most profound damage, destroying all layers of the skin and impacting tissues underneath.

Common Causes of Burns

  • Sunlight
  • Heat
  • Chemicals
  • Electricity
  • Radiation

Recognising Symptoms of Burns

  • General Symptom: Pain.
  • First Degree Burns:
    • Skin appears red and dry without any blisters.
  • Second Degree Burns:
    • The skin is wet and red.
    • Skin turns pale white upon poking or when pressure is applied.
    • Blisters may manifest either immediately or after some time.
  • Third Degree Burns:
    • Severe burn, marked by a lack of elasticity and no pain sensation.

Immediate and Medical Treatment for Burns

  • At the scene of the injury:
    • Cool the burned area under cold running water.
    • Alternatively, apply a cold-water compress.
    • Refrain from breaking any blisters.
    • Avoid using toothpaste, ice, fish sauce, or other home remedies.
  • Medical attention at the hospital:
    • Cleanse the burned area with a saline solution.
    • Administer silver sulfadiazine cream to the burn.
    • Dressings should be changed every 24-48 hours.
    • Regularly provide pain medication and antibiotics if required.
    • Wound management is typically overseen by a burn surgeon and dermatologist.

When is Hospitalisation Necessary?

  • The burn covers a significant portion of the body.
  • The affected individual is below 5 years or above 55 years of age.
  • Electrical burns have occurred.
  • The presence of certain third-degree burns, especially circumferential burns that wrap around parts like the body, arm, leg, or finger.
  • The patient suffers from other severe medical conditions, e.g., diabetes, or if they are on immunosuppressive medications.

Prevention Tips

To prevent burns and related injuries:

  • Be cautious when working with hot items or electrical appliances.