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Your answer to
BURNS: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOw
Degrees of burns
According to the South African Burns Society, there are three different types of
First degree: Red skin, no blisters. Usually heal with little or no scarring.
Second degree: Blisters and thickened skin. This can be a burn of either
partial or full thickness of the skin, and full thickness burns may require skin
grafting for the best healing
Third degree: Overall thickening of the affected skin, with a white colour. This
burn is all the way through the skin
Sources of burn injuries
Ceramic wound dressing
Thermal burns can come from explosions, flame, hot liquids and contact with
hot materials like heated glass or coals.
Chemical burns are caused by strongly acidic or alkaline substances, and
require special care to stop injury to the skin.
Electrical burns are caused by electricity, as the name
implies, and need to be evaluated by a medical
professional even if they look fine, as they can't
Moist wound care:
Burns Cuts & grazes
Septic wounds . Diabetic ulcers
Pressure ulcers Venomous bites
accurately judged just by the external
person has been removed from the source
of the burn. To stop this, treat the burn
immediately with cool, but not ice-cold, water.
Depending on the location, size and severity
of the injury, hold the affected area under cool
running water until it becomes less painful. If
larger areas of skin are affected, standing under a cool
shower may be useful. "The goal is to reduce the heat as
quickly as possible," he explains.
It can cause damage to the skin if the affected area is immersed in very cold
water, ice or if frozen items are placed on it. If an affected area is particularly large, it
can also potentially lead to hypothermia and affect blood pressure and circulation
Do not rely on unfounded advice to apply butter, egg white, toothpaste or
any types of lotions to the affected areas. "These substances can be difficult to
clean out later and can cause infection. Supporting healing and reducing scarring
should always be the overriding aim," notes Stanton
. Prevents colonisation
Removes necrotic burdern
in chronic wounds
Speeds up the healing process
. Easy application
e Reduces inflammation
e Allows for aeration of the wound
e Prevents scar formation
e Controls wound cleansing
Ensure that a sterile dressing is applied, as it will help to relieve the pain,
reduce damage to the skin and prevent infection. "In order to keep the sterile
dressing on the wound, cover it with a bandage," he recommends.
However, when applying a dressing, take care not to break the skin and do not
attempt to peel any blisters. "In addition, ensure that the wound is not covered by
any fluffy, sticky or adhesive materials as this could further damage the area, and
could potentially lead to infection, Stanton emphasises.
WHEN TO SEEK MEDICAL ASSISTANCE
"If the burn injury is severe, causes significant pain and/or is larger than the
palm of your hand, visit an emergency department or call an emergency
medical services provider such as Netcare 911 on 082 911 for assistance. If
the burn becomes infected, you have not had a recent tetanus vaccination, or
blisters occur, you should seek medical advice from your doctor or emergency
medical services provider," Stanton concludes.
Cerdak is a proudly South African
product, developed and
WOUND to 33110
and a consuftant wil
The World Heaith Orga
The South African Bums Society
issued by Martina Nichoison Associates (MNA) on behelf af Netcare 9