Burns – Pharmacy at Cape Quarter Spar
A burn is damage to the skin covering the body by heat, cold, chemicals or electricity. Deep burns may damage nerves, blood and lymph vessels.
The body reacts by an inflammatory response with outpouring of a protein rich fluid from the circulation which may result in shock.
The intensity of the burn is extremely important. A superficial burn is when only top layers of the skin are affected and with proper care healing would then occur within two weeks. A deep burn is when both the epidermal and dermal layers of the skin are affected and when treatment and healing may take longer than 3 weeks. Burns are categorized into different intensities (degrees) which will define the treatment given.
First Aid treatment for minor to moderate burns should see cold water applied to the affected area. The wound should then be cleaned with sterile dressings applied (Burnshield, Jelonet, Bactigras). In patients who have suffered deep burns, reassurance and pain control are essential. Due to destruction of nerve endings, not much pain is experienced but emotional shock and fear can lead to considerable distress and it is always advisable to get the patient to the nearest doctor or hospital.
Burns experienced by children may include those caused by boiling liquids and electrical appliances among others. Research has shown that it is always best practice to inform and educate youngsters on the risks associated with burns whilst implementing preventative measures to help avoid any situation that could result in burns.