Burns Treatment

Burns Treatment

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In a burn injury there is damage or destruction of skin and/or deeper structure by thermal (flame, hot water or oil), chemical, electrical or radiation energies.

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What is a role of Plastic surgeon in Burns?

It is important to visit and consult with a Plastic surgeon as burn injuries leave behind severe scars which can lead to difficult, debilitating deformities. For example, small hand burn can lead to severe hand contracture which may limit all activities of daily living.

In acute burns, Plastic surgeon will help in wound healing with the use of advanced dressing technique, burn eschar removal (to avoid contracture), skin grafting and skin substitute. Healing of wounds may take weeks to month depending upon the extent of burn injury.

If patient has already developed deformities because of past burn injury (post burn contracture), then those can be corrected by Plastic surgeon which will help to decrease morbidity and improve functionality.

Fractional CO2 lasers are used in burn scars.

What is the first aid management in acute burns?

  • Check if the area is safe – make sure that you and burn individual are not in harm’s way. In case of electrical burns switch off the electricity source.
  • If patient is conscious and responsive ask the victim to “Stop, Drop & Roll” to extinguish the fire.
  • Dial emergency or call for help
  • Cool the burn. Hold the under cool (not cold) water. Avoid immersing burn patient in the water. Remove the clothing if it is not stuck to the skin and wash with clean tap water for 20 min or more.
  • Do not apply any home remedy such as balm, toothpaste, etc. Remove tight items such as rings, bangles in case of hand burns as when swelling occurs they will cut off the blood supply and will cause more swelling. Also remove all metal objects on the body as they continue to cause burning process by retaining heat.
  • Chemical burns – protect yourself first with appropriate gear. Make sure not to contaminate other parts while removing clothing. Make sure water doesn’t spread the contamination.


  • Silicone gel/ silicone sheet
  • Pressure garments
  • Intralesional Triamcinolone Acetonide injection
  • Fractional CO2 lasers
  • Physiotherapy
  • Splints
  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight
  • Apply Sunscreen with SPF> 50
  • Consult Plastic surgeon for use of ointment to avoid hyperpigmentation
  • Hypopigmented patches
  • Contractures of any body part
  • Burn Alopecia
  • Ectropion of eyelid/lips (outward turning)
  • Hypertrophic/Keloid Scar

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