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Government Of Assam Health & Family Welfare

Burn Care Services


A burn is an injury to the skin or other organic tissue primarily caused by heat or due to radiation, radioactivity, electricity, friction or contact with chemicals. Skin injuries due to ultraviolet radiation, radioactivity, electricity or chemicals, as well as respiratory damage resulting from smoke inhalation, are also considered to be burns.

Can Burns spread?

First-degree burns generally heal on their own in 10 to 20 days if no infection develops. In rare cases, first-degree burns spread more deeply to become second-degree (this spread is caused by infection). Deep second-degree burns may progress to third-degree. Third-degree burns may require a skin graft.

How does a burn heal?

When handling a minor burn, it is important you follow specific steps:

  • Thoroughly wash hands using antibacterial soap.
  • Run cool, not cold, water over the wounded area to reduce pain and swelling.
  • Use a mild soap and water to cleanse affected area.
  • Apply an antibiotic ointment if there is no opening of the skin.

What is considered a serious burn?

These are defined as first- or second-degree burns covering more than 25% of an adult's body or more than 20% of a child's body, or a third-degree burn on more than 10% BSA. In addition, burns involving the hands, feet, face, eyes, ears, or genitals are considered critical.

What is classed as a major burn?

A major burn is defined as a burn covering 25% or more of total body surface area, but any injury over more than 10% should be treated similarly. Rapid assessment is vital.

How do you keep a burn from blistering?

Rinse the burn

  • Rinse burned skin with cool water until the pain stops. Rinsing will usually stop the pain in 15 to 30 minutes.
  • Do not use ice or ice water, which can cause tissue damage.
  • Take off any jewelry, rings, or clothing that could be in the way or that would become too tight if the skin swells.

How do you treat a burn blister?

Treatments for a first-degree burn include:

  • Soaking the wound in cool water for five minutes or longer.
  • Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain relief.
  • Applying lidocaine (an anesthetic) with aloe vera gel or cream to soothe the skin.
  • Using an antibiotic ointment and loose gauze to protect the affected area.

What happens if a burn gets infected?

Wounds can become infected if bacteria get into them. If your burn or scald has a blister that has burst, it may become infected if it's not kept clean. You have signs of cellulitis, a bacterial infection that causes redness and swelling of the skin.

What kind of burn do I have?

First-degree burns are considered mild compared to other burns. They result in pain and reddening of the epidermis (outer layer of the skin). Second-degree burns (partial thickness burns) affect the epidermis and the dermis (lower layer of skin). They cause pain, redness, swelling, and blistering.

How do you treat minor burns?

For First-Degree Burns (Affecting Top Layer of Skin)

  • Cool Burn. Hold burned skin under cool (not cold) running water or immerse in cool water until pain subsides.
  • Protect Burn. Cover with sterile, non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth.
  • Treat Pain.
  • When to See a Doctor.
  • Follow Up.

How do you treat a superficial burn?

Soak the burn in cool water. Then treat it with a skin care product like aloe vera cream or an antibiotic ointment. To protect the burned area, you can put a dry gauze bandage over the burn.

How do you classify burns?

Burns are classified as first-, second-, or third-degree, depending on how deep and severe they penetrate the skin's surface. First-degree (superficial) burns. First-degree burns affect only the epidermis, or outer layer of skin. The burn site is red, painful, dry, and with no blisters.

What burn percent of the body is usually fatal?

  • Percent total body surface area (TBSA) involvement.
  • Burns >20-25% TBSA require IV fluid resuscitation.
  • Burns >30-40% TBSA may be fatal without treatment.
  • In adults: "Rule of Nines" is used as a rough indicator of % TBSA.

What is a first degree burn?

Superficial first-degree burns affect only the epidermis, or outer layer of skin. The burn site is red, painful, dry, and with no blisters. Mild sunburn is an example. Long-term tissue damage is rare and usually consists of an increase or decrease in the skin color.

Can Burn cause nerve damage?

Burned areas may be charred black or white. The skin may look waxy or leathery. Third-degree burns can destroy nerves, causing numbness. A person with this type of burn may also have difficulty breathing or experience smoke inhalation or carbon monoxide poisoning.

What is a third degree burn?

A third-degree burn is referred to as a full thickness burn. This type of burn destroys the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and the entire layer beneath (the dermis).

What is the worst degree of burns?

Second-degree (partial thickness) burns Third-•affect both the outer and underlying layer of skin. They cause pain, redness, swelling, and blistering. Degree (full thickness) burns extend into deeper tissues. They cause white or blackened, charred skin that may be numb.

What are the causes of burn?

Heat burns (thermal burns) are caused by fire, steam, hot objects, or hot liquids. Scald burns from hot liquids are the most common burns to children and older adults. Cold temperature burns are caused by skin exposure to wet, windy, or cold conditions.