Burns


Skin | Dermatology | Burns (Disease)


Description

There are three burn classifications of first-degree burn, second-degree burn and third-degree burn. The least serious burns are the firs-degree burns, those in which only the outer layer of skin is burned, but not all the way through. The skin is usually red, often there is swelling and pain sometimes is present.

When the first layer of skin has been burned through and the second layer of skin (dermis) also is burned, the injury is called a second-degree burn. Then blisters develop, skin takes on an intensely reddened, splotchy appearance and severe pain and swelling are present.

The most serious burns are third-degree burns and involve all layers of the skin and cause permanent tissue damage. Fat, muscle and even bone may be affected. Areas may be charred black or appear dry and white. Difficulty inhaling and exhaling, carbon monoxide poisoning, or other toxic effects may occur if smoke inhalation accompanies the burn. Complications such as shock, infection, multiple organ dysfunction syndrome, electrolyte imbalance and respiratory distress may occur.

Causes and Risk factors

A burn is a type of injury to flesh caused by heat, electricity, chemicals, light, radiation or friction.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Minor burns usually heal without further treatment. If necessary, analgesic drugs are given, and antibiotic drugs are prescribed if there is any sign of infection. Third-degree burns always require skin grafting. Extensive burns may require repeated plastic surgery....