A burn is damage to your body's tissues caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, sunlight, or radiation. Scalds from hot liquids and steam, building fires and flammable liquids and gases are the most common causes of burns. Another kind is an inhalation injury, caused by breathing smoke.

There are three types of burns:

  • First-degree burns damage only the outer layer of skin
  • Second-degree burns damage the outer layer and the layer underneath
  • Third-degree burns damage or destroy the deepest layer of skin and tissues underneath

Burns can cause swelling, blistering, scarring and, in serious cases, shock, and even death. They also can lead to infections because they damage your skin's protective barrier. Treatment for burns depends on the cause of the burn, how deep it is, and how much of the body it covers. Antibiotic creams can prevent or treat infections. For more serious burns, treatment may be needed to clean the wound, replace the skin, and make sure the patient has enough fluids and nutrition.

NIH: National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Symptoms of Burns

The following features are indicative of Burns:
  • swelling
  • blistering
  • scarring

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Common Causes of Burns

The following are the most common causes of Burns:
  • contact with fire
  • scalds
  • contact with hot objects
  • electricity shock
  • contact with chemicals

Risk Factors for Burns

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Burns:
  • cooking on open fires
  • outdoor activities

Prevention of Burns

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Burns. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • limit hot water exposure
  • wear fire-resistant clothing

Occurrence of Burns

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Burns cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Burns can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Burns can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Burns

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Burns:
  • X-rays: To determine the internal burned body area
  • Physical examination: To examine the burned skin

Doctor for Diagnosis of Burns

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Burns:
  • Psychologist
  • Physiotherapists
  • Social workers

Complications of Burns if untreated

Yes, Burns causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Burns is left untreated:
  • deforming contractures
  • significant disability

Procedures for Treatment of Burns

The following procedures are used to treat Burns:
  • Breathing assistance: Inserts a tube down your windpipe to keep oxygen supplied to the lungs
  • Tube feeding: Providing adequate nutrition by a feeding tube through your nose to your stomach
  • Skin grafts:Section of your own healthy skin are used to replace the scar tissue
  • Plastic surgery: Improves the appearance of burn scars

Self-care for Burns

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Burns:
  • Remove things in contact with skin: Remove rings or other tight items from the burned area
  • Don't break blisters: Don't break the small blisters around the burned area

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Burns

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Burns:
  • Rehabilitative exercise training: Restores the lean body mass and physical function
  • Use honey: Reduces inflammation and provides a moist healing environment
  • Apply moist exposed burn ointment: Gives relief from pain
  • Apply bee pollen ointment: Helps in re epithelization and wound closure

Patient Support for Treatment of Burns

The following actions may help Burns patients:
  • Joining a support group: Meeting people who are facing the similar challenges encourage the affected person

Time for Treatment of Burns

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Burns to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 3 months

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Burns.
Electrical Injuries
Fire Safety
Inhalation Injuries

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