Burns

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What it feels like: pain, blistering, and charred skin caused by injuryfrom electricity, fire, or chemicals.

Your Doctor Visit

What your doctor will ask you about: pain, blistering, troublebreathing, loss of consciousness. If the burn was electrical, the doctor will ask where the source touched you, and what the source was.

Your doctor will want to know exactly where on your body you wereburned, and the source of the burn.  If it was a flame, the doctor willwant to know if your face was burned.

If the burn was chemical, the doctor will want to know what kind of chemical it was, whether there wascontact to your face or eyes, and whether you swallowed any of it.

Your doctor will want to know when you had your last tetanusshot, and how many tetanus shots you have received in your life.

Your doctor will do a physical examination including the following: blood pressure, pulse, breathing rate, thorough skin exam.

 

WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF BURNS, AND WHAT IS TYPICAL FOR EACH TYPE?

Burn TypeFirst-degree
What is it: Affects only the outermost layer of skin
Typcal Symptoms: Pain, red and dry skin, able to feel pinprick on burnedskin

Burn TypeSecond-degree
What is it: Affects outermost and an  additional layer of skin
Typcal Symptoms: Mostly painful, blisters,  underlying moist and redtissue, often able to feelpinprick on burned skin

Burn Type: Third-degree
What is it: Burn affects deep tissues, beyond outermost layers
Typcal Symptoms: No pain, charred or leathery skin, skin may be whiteunder surface, no feelingof pinprick on burned skin.

 

Severe burns can cause large amounts of fluid loss, as well as infections. Burns to theface are particularly troublesome because associated damage to the lungs, which canoccur if hot air is breathed in, can lead to breathing difficulties. Electrical burns maylook less severe than they are because some of the damage is to internal organs.