How to Alleviate Burn Injuries

The most common type of burn injury is a thermal burn, resulting from exposure to fire, scalding water, or hot objects (including the sun). Chemical burn injuries are another type of burn injury.

Burn injuries include damage to muscle, nerve tissue and skin, and sometimes even bones. Burn injuries are frequently accompanied by other traumatic wounds, like fractures or other problems due to surgery or smoke inhalation.

One method to identify a burn injury is by extension of the injury. This is method is useful for giving a prognosis for recovery and making clinical decisions. There are 3 degrees that define burns:

- A first-degree burn is a superficial burn. It affects only the external layer of the skin.

- A second-degree burn compromises the epidermal layer and a part of the dermis.

- A third-degree burn, or full-thickness burn, affects the epidermis, the entire dermis, dermal appendages, and at times deeper tissue. Such a burn, even when it includes a small surface area, usually requires hospitalization.

The healing of a burn injury requires an effective and highly specialized skin treatment. Open wounds must be carefully cared for to prevent infection and to encourage healing as quickly as possible. Therapy may include respiratory treatment, swallowing therapy, speech therapy, and carefully monitored nutrient and fluid intake.

As a burn injury turns less acute, other problems need intervention. These include the building of a new self-image, the incorporation of previous leisure interests, tissue flexibility, emotional support, daily living and walking skills and re-adjustment to family and community life.

Immature burn scars tissue will change from a reddish to white tone while stretching. Be sure to put extra attention to these areas because they can get much tighter if you do not stretch them on a regular basis.

Cured burn wounds, grafts, and donor sites are very sensitive to direct sunlight and need special skin care measures. These areas can become very dry and also burn very quickly. After burn wounds have cured, you must avoid direct exposure to sunlight for at least 6 months. Following those first six months, it is okay to allow short exposures to sunlight. It is important to apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15. Apply the sunscreen at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. Also, try to avoid direct exposure to the sun between (10 a.m. to 3 p.m.). Reapply sunscreen often and try to stay out of direct sunlight. You can, over a period of time, gradually increase your exposure to sunlight.

A safer and natural alternative to chemical skin care solutions is now available in the shape of a skin care product to treat a wide range of skin conditions.

– Kathleen LeRoi