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Burn

Burns

DEFINITION

A burn is a type of injury to skin, or other tissues, caused by heat, cold, electricity, chemicals, friction, or radiation (like sunburn). Most burns are due to heat from hot liquids (called scalding), solids, or fire. While rates are similar for males and females the underlying causes often differ. Among women in some areas, risk is related to use of open cooking fires or unsafe cook stoves. Among men, risk is related to the work environments. Alcoholism and smoking are other risk factors. Burns can also occur as a result of self-harm or violence between people

OR

Burns are one of the most common household injuries, especially among children. The term “burn” means more than the burning sensation associated with this injury. Burns are characterized by severe skin damage that causes the affected skin cells to die.

TYPES OF BURNS

There are three primary types of burns : -

  • First degree
  • Second degree
  • Third degree
  1. First-degree burn

    First-degree burns cause minimal skin damage. They are also called “superficial burns” because they affect the outermost layer of skin.

    Signs of a first-degree burn include -

    • Redness
    • Minor inflammation, or swelling
    • Pain
    • Dry, peeling skin occurs as the burn heals

    Since this burn affects the top layer of skin, the signs and symptoms disappear once the skin cells shed. First-degree burns usually heal within 7 to 10 days without scarring

    if the burn affects a large area of skin, more than three inches, and if it’s on your face or a major joint, which include-

    • Knee
    • Ankle
    • Foot
    • Spine
    • Shoulder
    • Elbow
    • Forearm

    First-degree burns are usually treated withHome careHealing time may be quicker the sooner you treat the burn.

    Treatments for a first-degree burn include:

    • Soaking the wound in cool water for five minutes or longer

    Make sure you don’t use ice, as this may make the damage worse. Never apply cotton balls to a burn because the small fibers can stick to the injury and increase the risk of infection. Also, avoid home remedies like butter and eggs as these are not proven to be effective.

  2. Second-degree burn

    Second-degree burns are more serious because the damage extends beyond the top layer of skin. This type burn causes the skin toblisterand become extremely red and sore.

    Some blisters pop open, giving the burn a wet or weeping appearance. Over time, thick, soft, scab-like tissue called fibrinous exudate may develop over the wound.

    Due to the delicate nature of these wounds, keeping the area clean and bandaging it properly is required to prevent infection. This also helps the burn heal quicker.

    Some second-degree burns take longer than three weeks to heal, but most heal within two to three weeks without scarring, but often with pigment changes to the skin.

    The worse the blisters are, the longer the burn will take to heal. In some severe cases,skin graftingis required to fix the damage. Skin grafting takes healthy skin from another area of the body and moves it to the site of the burned skin.

    As with first-degree burns, avoid cotton balls and questionable home remedies. Treatments for a mild second-degree burn generally include:

    • Running the skin under cool water for 15 minutes or longer

    However, seek emergency medical treatment if the burn affects a widespread area, such as any of the following:

    • Face
    • Hands
    • Buttocks
    • Groin
    • Feet
  3. Third-degree burn

    Excluding fourth-degree burns, third-degree burns are the most severe. They cause the most damage, extending through every layer of skin.

    There is a misconception that third-degree burns are the most painful. However, with this type of burn the damage is so extensive that there may not be any pain because of nerve damage.

    Depending on the cause, the symptoms third-degree burns can exhibit include:

    • Waxy and white color
    • Char
    • Dark brown color
    • Raised and leathery texture
    • Blisters that do not develop

    Without surgery, these wounds heal with severescarringand contracture. There is no set timeline for complete spontaneous healing for third-degree burns.

    Causes

    Burns are caused by :

    • Fire
    • Hot liquid or steam
    • Hot metal, glass or other objects
    • Electrical currents
    • Radiation, such as that from X-rays
    • Sunlight or other sources of ultraviolet radiation, such as a tanning bed
    • Chemicals such as strong acids, lye, paint thinner or gasoline
    • Abuse

COMPLICATION

Complications of deep or widespread burns can include :

  • Bacterial infection, which may lead to a bloodstream infection (sepsis)
  • Fluid loss, including low blood volume (hypovolemia)
  • Dangerously low body temperature (hypothermia)
  • Breathing problems from the intake of hot air or smoke
  • Scars or ridged areas caused by an overgrowth of scar tissue (keloids)
  • Bone and joint problems, such as when scar tissue causes the shortening and tightening of skin, muscles or tendons (contractures)

Third-degree burns that are deep and affect a large portion of skin are very serious and can be life-threatening. Even first- and second-degree burns can become infected and cause discoloration and scarring. First-degree burns don’t cause scarring.

Potential complications of third-degree burns include -

  • Arrhythmia, or heart rhythm disturbances, caused by an electrical burn
  • Dehydration
  • Disfiguring scars and contractures Edema (excess fluid and swelling in tissues)
  • Organ failure
  • Pneumonia
  • Seriously low blood pressure (hypotension) that may lead to shock.
  • Severe infection that may lead to amputation or sepsis

Prevention

The obvious best way to fight burns is to prevent them from happening. Certain jobs put you at a greater risk for burns, but the fact is that most burns happen at home. Infants and young children are the most vulnerable to burns. Preventive measures can take at home include :

  • Keep children out of the kitchen while cooking.
  • Turn pot handles toward the back of the stove.
  • Place a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen.
  • Test smoke detectors once a month.
  • Replace smoke detectors every 10 years.
  • Keep water heater temperature under 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Measure bath water temperature before use.
  • Lock up matches and lighters.
  • Install electrical outlet covers.
  • Check and discard electrical cords with exposed wires.
  • Keep chemicals out of reach, and wear gloves during chemical use.
  • Wear sunscreen every day, and avoid peak sunlight.
  • Ensure all smoking products are stubbed out completely.
  • Clean out dryer lint traps regularly.

Diagnosis

If go to a doctor for burn treatment, he or she will assess the severity of your burn by examining skin. He or she may recommend that be transferred to a burn center if burn covers more than 10 percent of your total body surface area, is very deep, is on the face, feet or groin.

Doctor will check for other injuries and might order lab tests, X-rays or other diagnostic procedures.

Rule of 9 -

  • Head = 9%
  • Chest (front) = 9%
  • Abdomen (front) = 9%
  • Upper/mid/low back and buttocks = 18%
  • Each arm = 9%
  • Each palm = 1%
  • Groin = 1%
  • Each leg = 18% total (front = 9%, back = 9%)

As an example, if both legs (18% x 2 = 36%), the groin (1%) and the front chest and abdomen were burned, this would involve 55% of the body.

HOMOEOPATHIC MANAGEMENT FOR BURN INJURY

  1. Aconite

    Use immediately after the accident to counteract the nervous shock or when reaction has taken place, and there is dry, burning heat of the skin, heat hot and painful, face is red, pulse hard, frequent and contracts. There is great restlessness, panic and fear of death.

  2. Apis mellifica

    This remedy relieves pink, swollen skin with itching, burning pain improved by applying cold compresses.

  3. Arnica

    Helps prevent sequel, Such as shock after severe, deep burns and prevent septicemia. Inflammation of skin and celluler tissue with extreme tenderness and pain. Patient does not want to approach and tell every one present they are all right and wants to be left alone.

    This is a valuable first-aid remedy to help reduce pain and swelling and prevent the onset of shock after any injury. Another remedy that is more specific to the burn should be considered after Arnica.

  4. Arsenicum

    Deep burns with vesicles and infected flesh that turn black showing tendency towards gangrene, Inflammatory swelling, with burning, lancinating pains. Infection from dead tissue remaining in the wound great anguish and restlessness, changes place constantly. Fents death and being left above. Thinks it is useless to take medicine. Prostration which may seem out of proportion with the situation colic after severe burn.

  5. Calendula

    This remedy is useful for minor superficial burns caused by fire or the sun. Calendula also prevents gangrene and promotes granulation as well as prevents disfiguring scars. Prevents loss of blood and excessive pain. It is a good remedy to use to promote healing after specific acute remedies have removed the shock, pain and immediate symptoms. Use this remedy internally in potency and externally as a lotion. This remedy has a slight antiseptic action, speeds up the healing of damaged skin, and keeps the skin moisturized.

  6. Cantharis

    If used early it will prevent the formation of blisters. This is the most used remedy for scalds, burn and sunburns with vesicular character, blisters and superficial ulceration. Small blisters coalesce to form large blisters. Burns and scald with rawness and burning > by cold applications, followed by undue inflammation. Tetanic or epileptiform convulsions followed by coma. Extensive burns cause a renal complication. Patient is < by touch, approach and > rest. Use internally and externally in lotion.

    If a burn is intensely painful and blisters seem to be forming, this remedy may help to bring relief. The person often feels more sad than restless from the pain. Rawness and soreness may develop in the injured area.

  7. Carbolic Acid

    Useful for the ill effects of deep burns as well as old burns do not get well. Chemical burns and scalds. Intensely sympathetic, thinking of complaints aggravate them.

  8. Rhus tox

    After burns and scalds with vesicles, bullae (large blisters), Pustules. The burns are extensive burn more superficial although there may be erysipelas with typhoid like symptoms, sensorium become cloudy.

  9. Urtica urens

    For simple burns involving the skin, superficial burns. Intense burning and itching. Useful is chemical burns caused by poisonous plants use internally and externally.

    When a burn is mild and the primary symptoms are redness and stinging pain, this remedy often brings relief. It is often useful for sunburn when the pain is prickly and stinging.

  10. Causticum

    This a wonderful remedy for burns of a second degree. It will remove the pain and speed the healing of the skin quite some. The sensation of a Causticum state will be burning, rawness and soreness. There can be restlessness and irritability with tearfulness. This is a remedy is very good for burns that are slow in healing.

  11. Hypericum

    It is wonderful for healing nerve damage that might have occurred with burns, preventing infection and relieving the itch as the skin heals. It can be given alongside the other remedies. It is also helps to relieve the pain after skin grafts.

    This remedy is often helpful when the pain of a burn is intense and the nerves are extremely sensitive. Along with the usual discomfort of a burn, stabbing or shooting pains may be felt in the injured area.

  12. Thiosinaminum

    Which is fabulous for dissolving scar tissue as the burns enter their later stage of healing and the skin can become a bit ropey and thick.

  13. Hepar sulphuris calcareum

    This remedy is helpful for treating very sensitive and painful burns in people who are prone to infection. The person may feel extremely vulnerable and irritable, and may have chills or be very sensitive to cold.

  14. Phosphorus

    This remedy may be useful for the pain of electrical burns, on the way to medical care. (When electrical burns occur, the damaged area may look small on the surface, but be more extensive underneath; they should always be examined by a doctor.

  15. Calendula and Hypericum tinctures

    These tinctures (used topically in unpotentized herbal form) often is helpful in soothing burns and promoting tissue healing.