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    A burn is damage to your body's tissues caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, sunlight, or radiation. Scalds from hot liquids and steam, building fires and flammable liquids and gases are the most common causes of burns. Another kind is an inhalation injury, caused by breathing smoke.

    There are three types of burns:

    • First-degree burns damage only the outer layer of skin
    • Second-degree burns damage the outer layer and the layer underneath
    • Third-degree burns damage or destroy the deepest layer of skin and tissues underneath

    Burns can cause swelling, blistering, scarring and, in serious cases, shock, and even death. They also can lead to infections because they damage your skin's protective barrier. Treatment for burns depends on the cause of the burn, how deep it is, and how much of the body it covers. Antibiotic creams can prevent or treat infections. For more serious burns, treatment may be needed to clean the wound, replace the skin, and make sure the patient has enough fluids and nutrition.

    NIH: National Institute of General Medical Sciences

    Symptoms of Burns

    The following features are indicative of Burns:
    • swelling
    • blistering
    • scarring
    References: 1

    Common Causes of Burns

    The following are the most common causes of Burns:
    • contact with fire
    • scalds
    • contact with hot objects
    • electricity shock
    • contact with chemicals
    References: 2

    Risk Factors of Burns

    The following factors may increase the likelihood of Burns:
    • cooking on open fires
    • outdoor activities

    Prevention of Burns

    Yes, it may be possible to prevent Burns. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
    • limit hot water exposure
    • wear fire-resistant clothing
    References: 2

    Occurrence of Burns.

    Degree of Occurrence

    The following are number of Burns cases seen each year worldwide:
    • Very common > 10 Million cases

    Common Age Group

    Burns most commonly occurs in the following age group:
    • Can happen at any age

    Common Gender

    Burns most commonly occurs in the following gender:
    • Not gender specific
    References: 2

    Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Burns

    The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Burns:
    • X-rays: To determine the internal burned body area
    • Physical examination: To examine the burned skin
    References: 3, 4

    Doctor for Diagnosis of Burns:

    Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Burns:
    • Psychologist
    • Physiotherapists
    • Social workers

    Complications of Burns if Untreated

    Yes, Burns causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Burns is left untreated:
    • deforming contractures
    • significant disability
    References: 5

    Procedures for Treatment of Burns

    The following procedures are used to treat Burns:
    • Breathing assistance: Inserts a tube down your windpipe to keep oxygen supplied to the lungs
    • Tube feeding: Providing adequate nutrition by a feeding tube through your nose to your stomach
    • Skin grafts:Section of your own healthy skin are used to replace the scar tissue
    • Plastic surgery: Improves the appearance of burn scars
    References: 6

    Self-care for Burns

    The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Burns:
    • Remove things in contact with skin: Remove rings or other tight items from the burned area
    • Don't break blisters: Don't break the small blisters around the burned area
    References: 7

    Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Burns

    The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Burns:
    • Rehabilitative exercise training: Restores the lean body mass and physical function
    • Use honey: Reduces inflammation and provides a moist healing environment
    • Apply moist exposed burn ointment: Gives relief from pain
    • Apply bee pollen ointment: Helps in re epithelization and wound closure
    References: 8, 9, 10, 11

    Patient Support for Treatment of Burns

    The following actions may help Burns patients:
    • Joining a support group: Meeting people who are facing the similar challenges encourage the affected person
    References: 12

    Time for Treatment of Burns

    While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Burns to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
    • In 1 - 3 months
    References: 13

    Questions - Burns

    Painful urination after intercourse is a sign of urinary tract infection (UTI). It could be due to bacterial infection. To prevent a UTI, you may try to urinate before and after intercourse to remove the bacteria attached to the urinary tract. If painful urination continues, contact your doctor to know for sure what is going on. If you frequently have a UTI, you may also want to contact your doctor for a prescription of antibiotics to take after intercourse.
    1. Urinary tract infections. URL: Accessed May 19, 2018.
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    1. MedlinePlus Burns - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    2. Wikipedia Burn - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    3. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research Burns Tests and diagnosis - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    4. Christiaens W, Van de walle E, Devresse S, et al. The view of severely burned patients and healthcare professionals on the blind spots in the aftercare process: a qualitative study. BMC Health Serv Res. 2015;15:302. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    5. Procter F. Rehabilitation of the burn patient. Indian J Plast Surg. 2010;43(Suppl):S101-13. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    6. Mayo Clinic Burns - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    7. Mayo Clinic Burns - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    8. Porter C, Hardee JP, Herndon DN, Suman OE. The role of exercise in the rehabilitation of patients with severe burns. Exerc Sport Sci Rev. 2015;43(1):34-40. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    9. Molan PC. Potential of honey in the treatment of wounds and burns. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2001;2(1):13-9. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    10. Ang ES, Lee ST, Gan CS, et al. Evaluating the role of alternative therapy in burn wound management: randomized trial comparing moist exposed burn ointment with conventional methods in the management of patients with second-degree burns. MedGenMed. 2001;3(2):3. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    11. Olczyk P, Koprowski R, Kaźmierczak J, et al. Bee Pollen as a Promising Agent in the Burn Wounds Treatment. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2016;2016:8473937. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    12. Mayo Clinic Burns - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    13. Adhya A, Bain J, Ray O, et al. Healing of burn wounds by topical treatment: A randomized controlled comparison between silver sulfadiazine and nano-crystalline silver. J Basic Clin Pharm. 2014;6(1):29-34. - Accessed: February 20, 2017.
    14. Source:

    Last updated date

    This page was last updated on 7/15/2018.
    This page provides information for Burns.

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