The characteristics of a second-degree burn are the forming of blisters, swelling and fluids beginning to seep from the burned area. A burn injury is the destruction of the different layers of the skin and the structures within the skin, such as sweat glands, oil glands, and hair follicles. Heat generated from the fire or heat source and the amount of time the skin is exposed to the heat is what damages the skin. The depth of injury is described as a first, second, and third degree burn. Severe pain accompanies these symptoms, because the capillary blood vessels in the skin are damaged. This type of burn penetrates all the skin layers deep down into the muscle and fat tissues. The appearance of the skin has a waxy or leathery look. It may look charred or gray as well. The victim of a third-degree burn feels no pain because the nerve endings have been damaged. Only pain from surrounding first and second-degree burns can be felt. It is best to elevate the legs of the burn victim and keep them warm by covering them with a clean sheet or blanket until medical assistance arrives.In all cases of burn it is wise to have the burned area examined by a physician to protect the burn victim from the high risk of infection.
A thermal burn can be caused by fire, coming in contact with hot objects, flammable vapor that ignites causing an explosion, or contact to the skin by steam or other forms of hot liquid. Burns may be treated with first aid, in an out-of-hospital setting, or may require more specialised treatment such as those available at specialised burn centers.Burns can be classified by mechanism of injury, depth, extent and associated injuries and comorbidities.Burns are described according to the depth of injury to the dermis and are loosely classified into first, second, third, and fourth degrees.Burns can be classified as major, moderate and minor. This is assessed based on a number of factors, including total body surface area (TBSA) burnt, the involvement of specific anatomical zones, age of the person and associated injuries.Burns are caused by a wide variety of substances and external sources such as exposure to chemicals, friction, electricity, radiation, and heat. Burns can happen when the skin is exposed to heat (from fire or hot liquids), electricity, corrosive chemicals, or radiation (UV rays from the sun or tanning beds, or radiation treatments).
Most burns in children come from scalding liquids. All burns — even minor ones — may cause complications if not properly treated. Skin is the body’s natural barrier to infection, and burns destroy that protection, so treatment usually involves preventing or treating infections.Burn pain is difficult to control because of its unique characteristics, its changing patterns, and its various components. In addition, there is pain involved in the treatment of burns as the wounds must be cleansed and the dressings changed. Studies show that the management of burn pain can be inadequate requiring more aggressive treatments for pain.Severe burns covering large parts of the body may need more intensive treatments such as I.V. antibiotics to prevent infection or I.V. fluids to replace fluids lost when skin was burned.
In case of a first or a second-degree burn, which is covering an area larger than three inches in diameter, or a burn over your face, hands, feet or genitals, you need to see a doctor immediately. Emergency medical attention is must in case of the third-degree burns, so take the victim to a hospital as soon as possible or call the emergency medical service.Rescuers must take care of themselves. Remove the clothing as soon as possible as it may retain heat, even in case of burns due to hot water or steam. Clothing of adherent material like nylon should be immediately removed. Do remember that you should never use an ice cube over the burned skin in order to cool the burn, because this will just make it worst.
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