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Overview

Burns: Treatment, Procedure, Cost and Side Effects

What is the treatment?

A burn is caused by prolonged exposure to fire and can range in severity from mild to extreme and fatal. The severity depends mainly on the time period of the exposure to the fire, and the total area that is burned. A first degree burn is the mildest. It refers to a burn that only affects the upper layer of the skin. Such burns can be treated easily, and often do no leave a scar if treated well on time. A second degree burn goes deeper than the first layer of the skin and requires more medical attention than a first degree burn. A third degree burn is the most severe. It affects the muscles of your body, and can even go down to the bone. This type of burn requires extensive medical attention for the treatment, including surgery.

Minor burns incurred in the kitchen can be treated with the help of creams and ointments that are meant for burns. The first line of treatment is to run cold water over the burnt area, after which you can proceed with applying the ointment. Major burns, on the other hand, can require skin grafts, surgery, and intensive care. If they spread over the large part of the body, these burns can be fatal. Getting medical treatment at a hospital is extremely important when it comes to burns. There must be no delay in treatment.

How is the treatment done?

To start with the treatment, the doctor in the emergency room will first clear the wound. If there is any debris in the wound or any external object like dirt or ash, the wound can become infected and this can cause problems with the healing. Once the wound is cleaned, the treatment can begin. If the burns are extremely severe, the doctor may have to reopen the wounds a little every day in order to allow the muscles below to heal. Though this may seem counterintuitive, and is quite painful, it is an essential part of the road to recovery.

Skin grafts are also a commonly used treatment for burns. In this treatment, sheets of fresh skin are laid over the burnt area. The skin melds with the body as it heals and becomes a part of it, leaving a network of pink and white scarred flesh. This line of treatment is usually employed when the patient’s skin is not viable for treatment as it is too damaged.

Mild burns can be treated at home with the help of ointments and creams that are available over the counter. These creams cool down the burnt skin and allow it to smoothen and heal quickly. In this case, there usually isn’t a scar left behind. Though when it comes to second and third degree burns, you can expect a scar.

Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)

If you have second and third degree burns, you should go to the hospital immediately for treatment. You can also go if you have first degree burns and want to be on the safe side.

Who is not eligible for the treatment?

If you have certain allergies, it may interfere with the treatment process, making you eligible for some of the treatment options.

Are there any side effects?

With burn treatments, bruising and swelling are a part of the treatment itself. You can also expect pain, disorientation, and loss of memory at times if the treatment is too traumatic. Scars can also be expected.

What are the post-treatment guidelines?

During the healing process, you will be advised to stay away from heat and open flames. Once you have recovered, you will be encouraged to lead a normal life.

How long does it take to recover?

Depending on the severity of the burns it can take anywhere between a few days to a few years to recover completely.

What is the price of the treatment in India?

Skin grafts cost anywhere between Rs. 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 depending on the size of the graft that is needed.

Are the results of the treatment permanent?

The results of the treatment are permanent.

What are the alternatives to the treatment?

There are no alternatives to the treatment. You must visit a hospital and see a medical professional if you have been burnt.

Safety: Low Effectiveness: Medium Timeliness: Medium Relative Risk: High Side Effects: Medium Time For Recovery: Medium Price Range:

Rs. 50,000 to Rs. 1,00,000

Popular Health Tips

Burns - Understanding Its Degrees!

MBBS, MD - Dermatology , Venereology & Leprosy
Dermatologist, Hyderabad
Burns - Understanding Its Degrees!

There are mainly three kinds of burns. The degree of burns is determined by the extent of damage that the burn causes. First degree burns are minor while third degree ones are extremely severe. Variety of factors could lead to a burn. They may be chemical, electrical, fire and even sun induced. Boiling or scalding liquids might result in burns as well. The burn type isn’t necessarily determined by what causes it. Scalding hot water might cause all the three types of burns; based on the duration of the skin being in contact with the water and how hot the water is.

Electrical and chemical burns need immediate tending to by a doctor as it might affect the internal body without it being apparent as the damage to the skin is not much. There are also fourth-degree burns. This type of burn includes all of the symptoms of a third-degree burn and also extends beyond the skin into tendons and bones.

  • First-degree burns: These result in the least skin damage and are also known as “superficial burns” as they only affect the skin’s outermost layer. Redness, pain, minor swelling and inflammation are all the symptoms of a first degree burn. As a first degree burn heals, dry skin and peeling takes place. As the skin peels, the symptoms and signs disappear as the burn only manifests on the top most skin layer. It usually takes a week or little more for a first degree burn to heal without any scarring. If the burnt area affects over three inches of skin, or is on the face, then a doctor should be consulted. Home care generally suffices for a first degree burn. Healing time accelerates with rapid treatment of the burn.
  • Second-degree burns: They are serious as the extent of damage is deeper than the topmost layer of the skin. The skin becomes extremely sore with the formation of red blisters. The blisters might pop open and as time passes, the wound may develop a scab. Proper bandaging is required to reduce chances of an infection. Home remedies should be avoided. The burns usually heal within three weeks.
  • Third-degree burns: They are the most severe. They extend through each layer of the skin. They might not cause any pain due to the severity of burn as the nerves might get damaged. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2591 people found this helpful

Reconstructive Burn Surgery - How Can You Take Care Of It?

MCh - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, DNB, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Bangalore
Reconstructive Burn Surgery - How Can You Take Care Of It?

Burn surgery is very common these days. Burn surgery is usually done on people who suffer from major burns. Reconstructive burn surgery is usually required in the last stages when the initial burns have healed to a certain extent. Usually reconstructive burn surgeries are done on patients who have suffered from huge accidents and have burnt their face, neck and hands to a great extent. Patients requiring this surgery usually become unrecognizable after an accident.

When is reconstructive burn surgery recommended?

  1. If you have been involved in a household accident and the scars have not healed completely. Surgery might not totally heal the face, but it can improve your basic functions like breathing, smelling, seeing or tasting (if most of your senses are burnt and disfigured).
  2. Reconstructive burn surgery is also very useful for acid attack victims. Sometimes, burns are not only caused by fire, but it is also caused by chemicals and acidic substances which are worse and can completely burn and disfigure your face. When hydrochloric acid, nitric acid and sulfuric acid come in contact with your skin it seeps into the skin and burns off your nose, cartilage and sometimes even causes blindness. It disfigures your face completely, reconstructive burn surgery can do miracles, though it cannot bring back your previous features and skin texture, but it does make you look more recognizable.
  3. After a burn, facial scarring occurs which leads to the loss of eyelids, hair, nose and lips. In this case burn surgery is required.

How to take care of yourself after a burn surgery?

  1. Regular stretching should be done, especially if the areas of your burn include your hands, legs, joints, etc. Do as much as activities as possible like getting dressed and grooming yourself. It will also make you more self-reliant and give you confidence.
  2. Depression is very common after a burn surgery. A reconstructive burn surgery will not magically make you look the way you used to. A lot of sittings is required and remember, appearance and looks do not matter much. The wounds will fade away with time.
  3. Itching is also very common after a burn surgery. If this problem persists, you should consult your doctor for a moisturizer.
  4. Avoid sun exposure. Don’t go out in the sun, because the U.V rays are extremely harmful and can singe your already sensitive skin; you can also get skin cancer.
  5. Custom pressure garments should be worn to protect your skin. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon.
3120 people found this helpful

Compartment Syndrome - What Exactly It Is?

MD, FIPP
Pain Management Specialist, Kolkata
Compartment Syndrome - What Exactly It Is?

What is Compartment Syndrome?
Compartment syndrome is a type of condition that occurs when pressure builds up inside a muscle tissue in the body. Compartment syndrome usually occurs due to swelling or internal bleeding after an injury. The swelling should go away once the wound heals. However in some cases, if the swelling doesn't improve quickly, it leads to the accumulation of pressure. Let us have a look at the symptoms and the causes in depth.

Understanding Compartment Syndrome:
Compartment syndrome is not exactly a disease, but it hampers the flow of blood to and from the affected tissues. Groups of organs/muscles are organized into zones called compartments. During an injury, blood may start accumulating in these compartments, as a result of which the pressure inside the chamber rises restricting smooth blood flows. Severe tissue damage can result, with a loss of body function as well. Compartment syndrome can be fatal in some cases if not treated immediately. The common areas where this occurs are the legs, arms, and abdomen.

Compartment Syndrome Causes:
Compartment syndrome can occur immediately after an injury or they can happen when the treatment plan for the injury is under way. The biggest risk is that while some compartment syndrome takes days to form, few cases occur within hours. The acute form of the condition occurs when there is damage to the bone like a fracture to the hand and limbs. Other causes can include crush injuries, over-tight bandaging, burns and prolonged compression of an arm or leg. Blood clots also cause this condition in some cases, and so does strenuous physical exercises. A simple physical exam is used to diagnose compartment syndrome along with an X-Ray.


Compartment Syndrome Treatment:
Treatment for compartment syndrome works on the fundamental principle of reducing the pressure to the affected region. Dressings and casts that hamper the blood flow have to be removed immediately. Movement and bodily functions of the affected area have to be monitored vigorously. Surgery is one of the foolproof ways to ease the pressure. It is done by making long incisions into the skin underneath the affected area and releasing the pressure. The surgeries are done as minimally invasive procedures and can be clubbed together with the treatment plan the person is undergoing. In some cases, if the pressure is weak and not restricting the flow, then physical therapies can be undertaken. Medications can also help to an extent along with strength exercises.

With the advances made in medical science, doctors can identify potential compartment syndrome symptoms more quickly. Since these mostly occur when undergoing the treatment, the condition has a better chance of getting identified at its root. They can be avoided mostly with the experience of the physician. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a pain management specialist.

4446 people found this helpful

Burn Repair Surgery - How Effective It Is?

DNB (Plastic Surgery), MCh, MBBS
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Surat
Burn Repair Surgery - How Effective It Is?

Burning your skin is a very traumatic experience and can leave behind scars that remind one of the traumatic incident. Scarring caused by burns may fade a little with time but are usually permanent. Apart from affecting your appearance severe burns can also affect the functioning of the body. Burns can make a person withdraw socially by making him or her afraid of how people will accept them with their scars as well as make them depressed about their appearance.

Burn repair surgery can be categorised under two headings: Acute and Reconstructive

  1. Acute repair surgery happens immediately after the burn and deals with large burns and burns that affect critical areas. The focus here is to close the skin in case of open burns and help the skin heal.
  2. Reconstructive burn surgery addresses the skin after the initial burn wounds have healed. The goal here is to improve the appearance of the scars and ensure no lasting loss of functioning. Reconstructive burn surgery has a high success rate.

There are many types of reconstructive surgeries for burns and the type of surgery best suited to a patient is based on the location of the scar, the extent of scarring and the patient’s personal goals.

  1. Skin grafts: This involves the removal of healthy skin tissues from one part of the body and transplanting it to the burn site. This skin graft may include only a few outer layers of skin or may involve the entire dermis. This is used in cases of severe burns where a large section of the dermis is affected.
  2. Microsurgery: This is a procedure where the surgeon reattaches or reconstructs severed fingers, toes, ears etc by sewing together blood vessels and nerves. This is often used alongside other surgical procedures.
  3. Free flap procedure: In this procedure, muscle, bone or skin is transferred from one part of the body to another to reconstruct the area. This type of surgery is often accompanied by microsurgery.
  4. Tissue expansion: This involves the insertion of a balloon expander under the skin near the burn site. As the balloon is filled with saline, the skin stretches and grows. Once the skin has stretched enough, the expander is removed and the skin can then be used to repair burn scars.

This procedure has many advantages as the skin colour and texture are a near perfect match thus reducing scarring to a large extent. However, it is a very slow procedure and can take a few months. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist.

2925 people found this helpful

Dry Mouth and Eyes - Complications Associated With It!

Diploma In HIV Medicine, MBBS
HIV Specialist, Surat
Dry Mouth and Eyes - Complications Associated With It!

An immune system disorder distinguished by dry mouth and dry eyes is known as Sjogren’s Syndrome. It can also cause dryness in places that require moisture, such as throat, nose and skin. Sjogren’s syndrome is often linked to other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus (disease in which the immune system destroys its own tissues and causes inflammations). Sjogren’s syndrome normally affects people over the age of 40, and it mostly affects women.

Symptoms 
Sjogren’s syndrome has mainly two symptoms, and they include:

  1. Dry eyes: You feel like there is sand in your eyes as it burns and itches
  2. Dry mouth: You have difficulty speaking or swallowing

Sometimes, you might experience other symptoms as well, such as:

  1. Joint pain, stiffness and swelling
  2. Inflamed salivary glands
  3. Dry skin or skin rashes
  4. Vaginal dryness
  5. Continuous dry coughs
  6. Sustained fatigue

Causes
The exact cause of Sjogren’s syndrome is not known, but research strongly suggests that the autoimmune disease could be caused by genetic factors; especially if the illness has been found in more than one member of the family. Also, families with members suffering from type I diabetes, lupus and autoimmune thyroid disease can cause one or more members of the family to develop Sjogren’s syndrome.


Complications
The complications of Sjogren’s syndrome include:

  1. Dental cavities: Saliva protects the teeth from harmful bacteria that cause cavities. Since your mouth is dry, you become more susceptible to develop cavities.
  2. Yeast infections: Oral thrush, an oral yeast infection, is likely to develop if you have Sjogren’s syndrome.
  3. Vision problems: Dry eyes can cause corneal ulcers, sensitivity and blurred vision.
  4. Problems in the lungs, liver or kidneys: Inflammations can lead to bronchitis or pneumonia in your lungs; may cause cirrhosis or hepatitis C in your liver; and may lead to kidney malfunctions.
  5. Lymphoma: Some people with Sjogren’s syndrome might develop lymphoma, or lymph node cancer.

Peripheral neuropathy: Another complication of this illness is peripheral neuropathy, which is a tingling, burning and numbness sensation felt in your feet and hands.

Treatment
Sjogren’s syndrome is either treated with drugs, or with surgery. Doctors may prescribe drugs to increase the production of saliva and to treat inflammations. Alternatively, surgery is done to either seal the tear ducts or insert silicon or collagen plugs to close the ducts temporarily. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor.

2631 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

sir at that time I am very sad because mere dost ke sister ki puri body jal Gaya hai. Kya uska jali huye bhag thik ho sakta hai aur aur uska body pahle jaisa ho sakta hai Kya. Please help me and give me some suggestions.

Ph.D, M.Phil - Psychology
Psychologist, Mathura
Yes. complete cure is possible as told by baba Ramdev on TV. Very strongly recommend consulting patanjali chikitsalaya for medicine. Pranayam IS A MUST AS IT WILL HELP NEW SKIN CELLS TO REPLACE DEAD ONES. IT WILL TAKE TIME BUT SCARS WILL HEAL. please take online consult for details.

I was burnt on my shoulder because of a metal that was very hot, it isn't very big, according to doctors here it is 3% burn. The burnt skin turned black as it dried up and then there was development of pus under it. I am advised to take advent tablet, chymoral forte and pantosec. I am also applying a ointment called silverex heal, however it has peeled off, there is some pus in it still. It still hurts. I don't know what to do with the wound. I was told to keep it open and just put the ointment, but I think I require gauze application. I don't know what to do about the infection. I am scared about it. What should I do?

MCh - Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, MS - General Surgery, MBBS
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Mumbai
Hello lybrate-user. You need to add Oral Antibiotics in addition for the Infection still there. Rest Tablets & Ointment are okay to continue. Dressing can be kept open or covered with a Guaze. Both the options are okay. If there is any risk of external contamination by Dust, flies, rubbing against clothes, better to cover with Guaze. Which needs to be dressed daily. Keep arm movements limited. Keep arm elevated at night on a pillow. Drink atleast 3lit of water, Eat high protein diet. You can also add a pain killer if it hurts you. Even after it heals, keep the shoulder covered from Sun for atleast 3 months.
1 person found this helpful

Sir my daughter burn in 22 July 2018 1332 hrs now he under oxygen therapy she is feeding herself passes urine and potty weight gain 3,4,5 gms she diagnosed earlier PDA OR PAH and now PDA is closed but PAH is reducing medication sildenafil but she is in oxygen dependency and SPO2 is 97% as per paediatric CARDIOLOGY after echo test.

MCh Plastic Surgery, MS - General Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Bangalore
Hello, The treatment provided is right. Its better to discuss with your pediatrician as without the clinical details no doctor can advice on conditions like these.

Hi, My son has burned scars on his arm. My son age 5 years. Please suggest me how to removal that scars? Advise me best medical prescription. Thank you.

MCh - Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Bangalore
Hello. The burns scar varies from person to person, depending upon the skin type, scar maturity, length, position and width. The treatment accordingly will vary from just a superficial dermabrasion, dermarolling, fat grafting to the scar revision surgeries. So it would be better if you can consult a nearby plastic surgeon or with me online with the photos, to decide which type of treatment would suit you. Thank you.

My child is 11 month old he has burn marks on leg because of iron touch on his leg can before one month. Every thing is fine but there is burn marks can you tell me the name of cream for burn marks.

MCh Plastic Surgery, MS - General Surgery
Cosmetic/Plastic Surgeon, Bangalore
Hello, The pigmentation comes back over 2-3 months. A moisturizer and sunscreen is all that is required to prevent hyperpigmentation.

Table of Content

What is the treatment?
How is the treatment done?
Who is eligible for the treatment? (When is the treatment done?)
Who is not eligible for the treatment?
Are there any side effects?
What are the post-treatment guidelines?
How long does it take to recover?
What is the price of the treatment in India?
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
What are the alternatives to the treatment?
Play video
Burns and its Sequelae
Types of Burn and its Treatment

Hello friends, I am Dr. Anubhav Gupta. I am a consultant plastic surgeon working at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital in New Delhi. Today I am going to discuss a very common topic that is burns and its sequelae, the commonest problems which are caused by burns that are contractures. I would answer the commonly and the frequently asked questions related to these topics.

Q. What is the first thing I should do when I am burned? Dr. See it s a very common thing that most people don t know. Wherever suppose some person is burned, the first thing is to stop the source of that fire. It can be done by many methods, by pouring sand, etc, the second thing is you should try and bring that part of the body under running tap water. It should be cool, it should not be cold or freezing, it should be just cool and let that part of the body be continuously under water. What it does is, it takes away a lot of heat and prevents the burn from getting deeper.

Q. What are the different degrees of burns?
Dr. Basically burns can be divided into three degrees, the first degree, second degree and third degree. First degree burns are the superficial ones wherein there is usually only redness which heals without any consequences. Second-degree burns are again of two types; second degree superficial and second degree deep. Second-degree superficial ones are burns with blisters, which may also heal on their own. It is the second degree deep and the third-degree burns which do not heal on its own and they require a treatment by a plastic surgeon.

Q. What burns came scaring and later contractures?
Dr. Basically second-degree burns and third-degree burns cause scarring and later contractures.

Q. Who should I approach for the treatment of contractures?
Dr. Contractures are treated by plastic surgeons.

Q. What surgery is done to treat contractures?
Dr. Basically contractures are when the body heals in burns it causes the part to come closer, leading to contractures, so there are a lack and deficiency of skin which causes contractures. What needs to be done is there, we put an incision on it, we cut it and we release it and then we take a graph, skin graph from the other part of the body and we put it on that released area and then after that we give a splint, so that the body is placed in the position it was before when there was a deficiency of tissue that is before burns. We tried to put the body or that joint in that position which is a normal position for that. And hence that is how we treat contractures.

Q. How long does it take for the healing to complete?
Dr. Basically healing of the contractures takes two-three weeks after we do the graph. After that, the patient is advised to take splinting.

Q. What is the advice to prevent contractures after burns?
Dr. See it is very important. After burns the patients, if it is deep burns should be given splinting. And they should be encouraged to do physiotherapy. If we follow these two rules there will never be contractures. If you have any further queries or you want to know more then contact me on Lybrate.
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