Burns

The skin has an important role to play in the fluid and temperature regulation of the body. A burn is a damage to your body tissues causes by heat, chemicals, electricity, sunlight or radiation. Burns can cause swelling, blistering, scarring and in serious conditions, it can cause even death.

burns

If enough skin area is injured, the ability to maintain the control of regulation is lost.

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How To Classify Burns

First-degree burns: Burns of the first layer of skin. It is superficial and causes local inflammation of the skin. Sunburn often is categorized as first degree burn. The inflammation is characterized by pain, redness and mild swelling. The skin may be very tender to touch.

Healing time: It heals in about 3 to 6 days, and the superficial layer of burn may peel off in 1 or 2 days.

• Second degree burns This of two types:-
1. Superficial partial-thickness burns that injure the first and second layer of the skin.
2. Deep partial-thickness burns that injure deeper skin layers.
The burns are to the deeper layer of the skin and the inflammation is characterized by pain, redness, and inflammation, there is also blistering of the skin.
Healing time: healing time varies depending on the severity of the burn, it may take up to 3 weeks or more to recover.

• Third-degree burns: When the injury is to all the layers of the skin and tissue under the skin. In these kinds of burns, all the layers of the skin are affected in response causes killing that area of skin as the nerves and blood vessels are damaged. Burns are characterized by white, leathery, brown or charred and tend to be relatively painless.

Healing time: Healing time for third-degree burns depends on the severity of the burn. In some cases, skin grafting is the treatment.
Whatever the type of burn is inflammation and fluid accumulation in and around the wound occurs. As we know skin is the body’s first defense against infection by microorganisms. The epidermis is the only layer of skin that had the ability to regenerate itself. A burn that extend to the deeper layers may cause permanent injury and scarring and disables that area to regain normal functioning.

Rule of nine:
Rule of nine is often used to measure the depth of the burns. The total area of burn is measured as a percentage of the total body area affected. The calculation is based on the fact that the surface area of the following parts of an adult body each correspond to approximately 9% of the total body area of body i.e.100%
• Head=9%
• Chest (front)=9%
• Abdomen (front)=9%
• Upper/mid/lower back and buttocks=18%
• Each arm =9%
• Each palm=1%
• Groin=1%
• Each leg=18% total (front of leg=9% and back of leg=9%)

Rule of nine is applicable in the second and third degree of burns to measure the total percentage of burns whereas first degree burns are superficial and skin is intact.
If more than 15%-20% of the body is involved surface may be lost and shock may occur.
As the percentage of the burnt surface increases, the risk of death increases. Patients with burns less than 20% recovers and can regain life after proper treatment and rest but the greater area is involved risks are higher and if its 50% chances of death are more significant depending upon the various factors, including medical condition of the victim and age of the victim.

Causes of Burns

• Heat burns (thermal burns): caused by fire, steam, hot objects or hot liquids. Scald burns from hot liquids are the most common burns to children and older adults.
• Cold temperature burns: caused by skin exposure to wet, windy or cold weather conditions.
• Electric burns: caused by contact with electrical sources or by lightning.
• Chemical burns: caused by contact with household or industrial chemicals in liquid, solid or in gaseous form.
• Radiation burns: caused by the sun, tanning booths, sunlamps, x-rays or radiation therapy for cancer treatment.
• Friction burns: caused by contact with any hard surface such as road, carpets or gym floor surfaces. They are usually both an abrasion and heat burn.

Burns May Lead To

There is the number of complications associated with burns and the most common is the infection. The other forms of complications are as follows
• Pneumonia
• Urinary tract infections
• Cellulitis
• In case of burns due to electricity then it may lead to compartment syndrome or rhabdomyolysis due to muscle breakdown.
• Blood clotting is another complication occurring in veins of legs due to burn.
• Post-traumatic stress disorder.
• Keloid formation

Prognosis of Burns

Prognosis of cases of a burn depends upon the extent of burn and type of burn or cause behind burn.

How To Manage Burns

For minor burns:
• Gently clean the wound with lukewarm water
• Rings, bracelets and other ornaments should be removed.
• The burn may be dressed with a topical ointment like bacitracin or Neosporin
• Tetanus immunization should be updated.
• Take medicines such as anti-inflammatory, analgesics and prophylactic treatment as per healthcare provider advice.
For major burns:
• Check the signs of breathing, coughing or movements. In case there is no breathing begin CPR.
• Remove the victim from the burn area, remembering not to put the rescuer in danger.
• Remove any burning material from the victim body.
• Don’t remove burned clothing, but make sure victim is no longer in contact with smoldering materials or exposed to smoke or heat.
• Elevate the burned body part above the heart level if possible.
• Call the emergency response system
• Call ambulance
• Once the victim is in a safe place, keep them warm and still.
• Wrap the injured areas in a clean sheet.
• Don’t use cold water on the victim which may cause hypothermia.
Caution:
• Don’t use ice directly on burns
• Don’t apply egg white, butter or ointments to the burnt part.
• Don’t break blisters.

Homeopathic treatment for Burns

Arnica Montana:
• Valuable first-aid remedy
• Reduces pain and swelling prevent the onset of shock after injury

Cantharis vesicatoria:
• Indicated for extreme burning pain with intense restlessness.
• Helps reducing or to prevent blister formation.
• Burns followed by excessive inflammation
• Burns that lead to Titanic or epileptic convulsions.
• Indicated in second and third-degree burns.

Causticum:
• Burn is intensely painful and blisters formation
• The person often feels more sad than restless from pain
• Rawness and soreness may develop in the injured area.
• Pain remains in older burns or when burns have not completely healed.

Hypericum perforatum:
• Pain of a burn is intense and the nerves are extremely sensitive
• The discomfort of a burn, stabbing or shooting pains may be felt in the injured area.

Phosphorus:
• Pains of electric burns, on the way to medical care.
• Damage area look small on the surface but be more extensive underneath

Urtica urens:
• Burn is mild and the primary symptoms.
• Redness and stinging pain.
• It is often useful for sunburns when pain is prickly and stinging.

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