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Self Care

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Burns

 

We get burns, when the skin touches hot surfaces, liquids, steam, or flame. Skin burns are graded by degree. The higher the number, the more severe the bum.

First- degree burns

First degree burns are slight burns affecting the top portion of the skin.
Symptoms include redness, pain, and minor swelling.
Minor burns injure the epidermis or outside skin layer. The skin will be red dry or swollen. These burns may peel and are usually painful. Examples include mild sunburns or slight scaldings. Medical attention is not needed unless a larger area of skin is damaged. Such burns usually heal within 5 to 6 days without permanent scars.

Second- degree bums

Second degree burns affect the top layer of skin and the second layer.
These burns cause redness, pain, swelling, and some blisters.
Although second-degree bums are probably the most painful bums, most can be treated successfully at home if only a small amount of skin is burned.
Second-Degree Partial -Thickness Burn : Some of the skin layers beneath the surface are injured by partia1-thicknes burns. These burns are marked by blisters, local swelling, clear fluid discharge, and no tied skin. The pain may be severe. If the burn covers an area larger than a square inch, call the doctor. Healing takes 3 to 4 weeks and may leave scars.

Third-degree burns

Third- degree burns destroy all skin layers and may penetrate deep below the surface of the skin.
The damaged skin may be red, white, or charred black. Because there is a lot of nerve damage, there may be no pain and little bleeding.
Third degree burns, large-area burns, bums that result in a lot of blistering, or serious burns on the hand or face probably should be seen immediately by the medical doctor.
ln severe burns, the wound will weep or ooze large amounts of plasma, the clear liquid portion of blood from damaged blood vessels in the wound area.

Third-Degree Full-Thickness Burn : Full-thickness burns destroy all of the skin layers and any or all of the nerves, muscles, bones, or fat underneath. These burns have a charred appearance. The tissues surrounding or beneath the burn may be white or look waxy. Full-thickness burns are either very painful or painless, depending upon nerve damage. Scars may occur, depending upon the severity of the burn.

Signs and Symptoms that need immediate care :

  • First-degree burn with nausea and vomiting.
  • No tetanus booster received within past 10 years.
  • Third-degree burn.
  • Second-degree burn.


  • Self care

    For fast pain relief, soak a small-area burn in cold water or apply cold, wet compresses. Do not use ice water or snow, unless that is the only source of cold available. The wet, cooling action stops the burning process below the skin surface by dissipating the heat that remains after the initial burn.

    Take acetaminophen to relieve pain.

    Do not break blisters that may form over a bum since this could lead to infection.

    If the persons clothes are on fire, smother the flames with a blanket, towel, rug. Wrap it over the flames, pressing down to keep air from reaching the fire. The person may struggle or attempt to run. Get him or her on the floor so the burning surface is uppermost and flames can rise away from the body.

    Pull away any bits of clothing that may be smoldering. Leave any material that is burnt but extinguished and sticking to the skin. Solvents stocked by hospital emergency departments can safely remove these bits.

    Cover the person with a blanket and raise his or her feet 8 to 12 inches. Do not elevate the personís feet if you suspect head, neck or leg injuries.

    If conscious and showing no signs of vomiting the person should be encouraged to drink tepid water to replace fluids and salts lost in weeping plasma.

    Cover the burn with a clean, dry dressing that covers the entire burn area.

    Do not apply butter, first-aid creams, or antiseptics to the wound.

     


     
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    All health care decisions should only be made with consultation from your physician.

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