When the skin comes in direct contact with something hot or by radiated heat from an extreme source, such as the sun, it may be damaged, with death of cells in the skin. The depth of the injury depends on the intensity of the heat and the length of time that it is applied. Burns can also result from contact with certain chemicals, electricity, and from friction. A scald is a burn that is caused by a hot liquid, or steam, and the treatment is in the same way as a burn.


Degrees of Burns

The depth of a burn determines its severity, which helps determine the appropriate burns treatment.

Different Burn Degrees determines the appropriate burns treatment
    1st Degree burns are superficial. It damages the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and cause pain, redness and swelling (erythema) with no blisters. The skin over 1st degree burns peels off after a few days, and the is mostly healed after a week or so. Treatment for first degrees burns.
    2nd Degree burns are deeper - partial thickness skin damage causing erythema and blistering. The serum is the fluid inside a blister, and it provides a layer of protection for the skin beneath it, and will be absorbed by the body eventually. 2nd Degree burns take several weeks to heal. Treatment for first degrees burns.
    3rd Degree burns extend into the hypodermis, causing full thickness skin damage with its nerve supply (numbness) The burned skin looks white or charred. These burns may cause little or no pain because the nerves in the skin are damaged.
    4th Degree burns are 3rd degree with damages to deeper structures, like tendons, joints, bone.


Basic Burns Treatments

Things to note:

  • Type of treatment depends on the depth and extent of the burn, and the location of the burns.

  • Burns over a major percentage of the body require hospitalization and care in special burn units.

  • Do not apply oil, butter, ice or ice water on burns.

  • When treating a burn or a scald, the aim is to cool the area as quickly as possible to relieve the pain and reduce swelling.

  • Remove any clothing near the burns, but do not try to remove anything that is stuck to the burned skin as this could cause more damage.

  • Cling film can be used as a temporary dressing to cover the burns, in a layer over the burn rather than wrapping it around a limb, but it will cause maceration and infection if used for more than a few hours.

Disclaimer: The above information on Burns Treatment is for information only and not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Burns Treatment has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Talk to a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions.