FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do you dress a burn wound?
First, remove all clothing, jewelry, and debris from the burned area. Then cover the burn with a moist, sterile dressing that's been soaked in water (room temperature) or a saline solution. The burn wound dressing should be kept cool and moist to provide maximum pain relief. It's important to remember that clothing can retain heat and should be taken off immediately to prevent further damage to the tissue beneath it. When cooling a burn you should be careful to use running tepid water. Iced water should not be used as it could cause hypothermia (especially in children) and can cause the burn to progress.
For minor burns, dress the wound with a burn dressing that is sterile, non-adherent, pliable, and transparent for regular inspection of the wound. In the case of a second or third-degree burn, seek emergency healthcare. Prior to treatment, simply cool the burn wound with moist compresses but do not apply topical creams of any kind as they could interfere with the assessment of the burn by medical professionals. Topical burn creams are often prescribed for use after initial treatment is complete. Once the burn wound is closed, the patient should apply moisturizing cream as much as possible and the area should be protected from the sun with sunblock for at least 6-12 months.
For more severe burns, continued physiotherapy is often recommended to make sure that the scar tissue is healing properly and doesn't restrict the patient's movement. Always make sure to get your doctor's advice on the specific treatment after burns.
What makes burn dressings different from regular wound dressings?
Burn dressings are usually thicker, come in different shapes and sizes, or are saturated with compounds to help heal the burn faster. For example, the MEDIHONEY Hydrocolloid Paste Dressing is a special paste made out of honey that is designed to lower the pH of the wound and create the best environment for healing.
How often should I change a burn dressing?
It's recommended that you change the burn dressing every day. This will help prevent infection and help the burn heal. If you have an advanced burn dressing it can be held in place for 7-14 days. Notify your doctor if you notice any redness, warmth, or increased pain in the burn area.
What are the differences between 1st, 2nd, and 3rd-degree burns?
First-degree burns only affect the outer layer of the skin, called the epidermis, which doesn't contain any blood vessels. First-degree burns usually do not cause a break in the skin, maybe sensitive to the touch, exhibit some redness, and possibly itchiness. Second-degree burns affect the first and second layers of the skin (known as the dermis). They can affect nerve endings and cause more severe damage. They usually cause blistering, lasting serious pain, and they appear damp like a flesh wound.
Third-degree burns are the most severe as they affect all three layers of the skin. They are characterized by damage that visibly goes beyond the top layer of the skin, yellow-colored burn areas, and a lack of pain. Since these burns go through the nerve endings the patient may not feel any pain at all, which is always a red flag. It's recommended to treat second and third-degree burns in the hospital while first-degree burns can be treated at home with a simple burn wound dressing.
What exactly are impregnated dressings for burns?
Impregnated dressings are burn dressings that are saturated with a solution like oil or some other agent to help in the healing process. On the outside, they could be made of gauzes, non-woven sponges, or cloth strips. The chemical agents could include oil, zinc salts, xeroform, petrolatum, or scarlet red. Impregnated dressings are also good for healing other conditions such as dermal ulcers, skin tears, radiation dermatitis, deep wounds, and necrosis.
Where can I buy reliable burn care dressings?
Allegromedical.com provides an extensive collection of burn care and wound care products. Some of the burn dressings that we offer include the MEDIHONEY Hydrocolloid Paste Dressing, hydrocellular foam dressing, 3M Tegaderm Transparent Film Dressing, MEDIPORE +Pad Soft Cloth Adhesive Wound Dressing, SoloSite Gel, Allevyn Adhesive Hydrocellular Dressing, and the Acticoat Burn Dressing.
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The information, including but not limited to text, graphics, images, charts, and any other material on this site, is intended for informational purposes only and does not take the place of medical guidance provided by your physician. No information on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult a qualified medical professional about your condition or circumstances before undertaking a new healthcare regimen.