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.
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.
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.
If you have certain allergies, it may interfere with the treatment process, making you eligible for some of the treatment options.
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.
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.
Depending on the severity of the burns it can take anywhere between a few days to a few years to recover completely.
Skin grafts cost anywhere between Rs. 50,000 to Rs 1,00,000 depending on the size of the graft that is needed.
The results of the treatment are permanent.
There are no alternatives to the treatment. You must visit a hospital and see a medical professional if you have been burnt.