CAUSES – Burns are classified based on their severity. A first degree burn is considered minor and causes local inflammation of the skin. They usually affect the top layer of the skin. The skin may be very tender to touch.
Second degree burns are deeper and affect the epidermis and some of the underlying dermis layer of skin. In addition to the pain, redness and inflammation, there is also blistering of the skin. Third and fourth degree burns involves all layers of the skin. It usually kills that area of skin, effecting the fat tissues and nerves.
TREATMENT – It is best to treat any kind of burn as soon as possible in order to help the healing process and speed of recovery. Aspirin can be taken to alleviate the pain of minor burns. For burns that may require medical attention, the physician may cover the burn area with an antibacterial dressing or decide to leave it exposed to the air to help the healing process. If there is any signs of infection an antibiotic may be prescribed. For the most part, plastic surgery or skin grafting is needed in the most severe cases for skin repair and to avoid extensive scarring.
PREVENTION – If you are cooking on a stove or grilling in the home, make sure that you use pot holders and keep all flammable objects out of reach of the burner. Make sure that wherever you are, there is a fire extinguisher nearby. Make sure that all fire alarms are in proper working condition. All unused electrical outlets should be covered.