A burn is a complicated injury that requires varying degrees of treatment. The treatment begins the second a burn injury occurs and doesn't end for frequently months after. The treatment a person needs for a burn depends on how severe it is. In addition, the location of the injury also plays a role as skin varies in thickness, water and oil content, the amount of subcutaneous fat, and the number of blood vessels.
There are both short-term and long-term treatment options. Some burn injuries can be treated on an outpatient basis and others require hospitalization. This decision is based mostly on the severity of the burn. Short-term treatments include antibiotics, bandages, escharectomies, and pressure garments. Long-term care depends on the severity of the burn and whether the patient suffered lung injury from inhaling smoke or chemicals. It is also influenced by any pre-existing medical conditions.
Whenever a person is burned, their skin loses its ability to fight off infection. Infections slow the healing process and increase scarring. In addition, burned skin becomes a breeding ground for infection. To combat this, topical antibiotics are frequently applied to burns. These topical antibiotics kill off bacteria and help fight infections.
Bandages are also used to prevent infection. They do this by covering the wound which removes it from exposure to germs and whatnot in the air. In addition, they reduce the potential for heat and water loss. As a final benefit, bandages collect drainage from a wound.
Whenever skin is burned, it becomes stiff and resists swelling. The resistance to swelling leads to increased pressure in the burned area which can choke off blood flow to the area. To combat this, doctors will often create surgical cuts, called escharectomies, in the burned skin. These small cuts allow the burned area to expand and decrease the pressure buildup in the area.
This part of treatment frequently isn't performed immediately but is still very important to the healing process. The skin around a wound contracts toward the center of a wound as scar tissue forms. If joints are not exercised, the scarred skin may contract to the point that the joint can't move normally. These contractures frequently have to be treated or released surgically. Even though exercising can be painful, it increases flexibility and reduces long-term complications.
Rehab which is begun early and ends late in the healing process ensures the greatest flexibility and the least number of negative consequences.
If you have been burned seriously and would like more information, please visit http://burnvictiminjurylawyers.com/article_skin_grafting.aspx.
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