Burns are among the most common household accidents. It is especially common in children and is life-threatening. Burns may occur not only in the form of fire but also by contact with heated objects, spilling of scalding water or other hot liquids or by chemical or electrical effects.
What to do for burns at home?
Any burning material or spilled liquid must be removed immediately. After removing the garments, the burnt area should be washed under the tap or if possible, in cool (but not cold) water for several minutes. If chemical substance is spilled, still wash with water should be applied. Neutralization using other chemicals should not be attempted.
Degrees of burns
Burns are classified depending on how deeply they penetrate the skin surface.
1st degree burns:
The mildest one. Only the outer layer of the skin(epidermis) is affected. There is redness, minor inflammation and sore with touch in severe cases. Sunburn is a good example of this type. It heals quickly without leaving traces with painkillers and epithelization enhancing creams and pomades.
2nd degree burns:
That is severe enough to extend beyond the top layer of skin and to reach the dermis. There is extreme pain and visible blisters. These blisters are punctured by the physician, but the skin on them is left as a dressing. Usually, a covered dressing is applied and is changed every 2-3 days. Dressing materials such as hydrogels and colloids can be used to accelerate recovery. Strict follow-up and treatment is required since it quickly deepens if enfected. Superficial second degree burns heal rapidly in two to three weeks while deeper ones can take a longer time. Since there will be more scars on late-healing burns, early operation and skin transplantation in burns that are not thought to heal in three weeks results better.
3rd degree burns:
The burn is extended to all of the skin layers. Burnt skin gets dark brown color and thickens, occluded veins are seen beneath. If such wounds are small, they may heal with long-term dressing. But there will be scars left. For the larger ones, surgery and skin transplantation from the beginning is a must for the best results.
What to do in child burns?
It is necessary to wash and cool the burning area immediately and get the child to the hospital. Since children are very sensitive to fluid loss, appropriate fluid and serum treatment will be performed according to the depth and area of the burn.
Can burn scars and contractures be treated?
Scars and contractures are one of the most common areas of plastic surgery. These can be reduced and the function disorders caused by contractures can also be treated with methods such as Z-plasty, skin transplants, balloon (expander), fat injection, flap applications.