Treatment for Burns

Your skin is the largest organ of your body

It's the first shield against germs. If something happens to your skin, the rest of your body is much more vulnerable to infection, shock, and disease. When it comes to burns, degree has nothing to do with temperature. The terms first-, second-, and third-degree identify the severity of a burn.

  • First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of the skin. They cause pain, redness, and swelling, but do not usually need professional medical attention.
  • Second-degree (partial thickness) burns affect both the outer and underlying layer of skin. They cause pain, redness, swelling, releasing body fluids that erupt and cause blisters on the surface.
  • Third-degree (full thickness) burns extend into deeper tissues. They cause white or blackened, charred skin that may be numb. All of the layers of skin are destroyed.

As You Heal, Your Skin Will Change.

It may look purple, pink, brown or gray. Some reasons for the skin to remain discolored are: (1) an increase in circulation- extra blood in the area, (2) thin and fragile skin, and/or (3) excess blood pressure/pooling in the lower extremities from sitting or standing with your legs down too long. Your natural color may return, but it will take time.

Scarring Is A Natural Part Of The Healing Process

Scars are different in everyone. How much or how badly you scar will depend on how deeply you were burned, your age, and how long it takes your skin to heal. The formation of scars is a part of the healing process. If you had a first- or superficial second-degree burn, you may not have any lasting scars. If you had a deep second- or third-degree burn, you will probably always be able to tell you were burned.

A burn can also result in abnormal scarring, or scars that go beyond the site of injury called keloid scars, or it may result in excessively fibrotic scars called hypertrophic scars. Burn-related skin fibrosis leads to loss of tissue function.

Commercially-Produced Medications

Antimicrobial ointments, such as silver sulfadiazine, mafenide, silver nitrate, and providone-iodine help reduce the risk of infection. Bacitracin may be used for first-degree burns.

Antibiotics, such as oxacillin, mezlocillin, and gentamicin help treat infection. Antibiotics will also probably be used if the risk of developing infection is high -- for example, when the burn is large).

Mfenide acetate 5% (MAF) is often used with topical miconazole and nystatin, and systemic antifungal agents including amphotericin B (AMPHB), itraconazole and fluconazole in vitro.

Alternative Compounded Topical Medications

Ketoprofen is in a group of drugs called nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). it works by reducing hormones that cause inflammation and pain in the body, and is often used to treat pain or inflammation.

Misoprostol is a synthetic prostaglandin that is used for pain and various inflammatory conditions.

Phenytoin. An oral anticonvulsant with a noted side effect of tissue hyperplasia which may be beneficial to tissue growth

Allantoin is a compound naturally produced by many organisms, including animals, plants, and bacteria. By increasing the capacity of corneocytes to bind water, it promotes the renewal of epidermal cells and promotes healing. It reinforces the skin’s natural protective barrier and improves its moisture retention, providing a smoothing effect to the skin. It is a frequent ingredient in lotions and skin creams and medications for dermatological conditions.

If you have a question about this condition or any of the medications available to treat it, please feel free to use the "Email Us" button at the top of the page, or call us.

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