I burnt myself
Symptoms and complications
Regardless of their severity, burns require appropriate management to avoid complications, superinfection and dehydration of the person, especially in children and the elderly. Simple precautions can prevent domestic accidents or sunburn.
How is the severity of a burn assessed?
Diagnosis and management of a burn depend on three elements.
- Burning of the first degree: the skin is red, without blisters.
- Burning of the second degree: the skin contains blisters filled with liquid. Depending on the depth of the skin layer, the second degree is superficial or deep.
- Third degree burn: the skin is black or whitish and insensitive.
There are precise rules of calculation, but it is generally considered that a burn is serious when its surface is greater than half of the palm of the victim's hand.
Localized burns in particularly sensitive areas (eyes, nose, hands, vicinity of natural orifices, genitals, inner thighs) are classified as serious burns even if the skin has only a redness, because their healing can be tricky .
What are the possible complications of burns?
The complications are primarily local. The main risk is that the healing is of poor quality, which will have aesthetic and sometimes functional consequences (skin retracted). Depending on its depth, the healing of a burn can be more or less difficult. It may require care for several weeks, and in some cases, performing skin grafts.
Following a burn, there is also a significant risk of infection due to the destruction of the natural barrier that the skin represents. This is why disinfection and hygiene of burns must be rigorous. In case of superinfection, the use of antibiotics prescribed by the doctor may be necessary.
Dehydration is another immediate complication of extensive burn, with a risk of severe drop in blood pressure. This dehydration occurs even more than the burned area is important (from 10% of the body surface in infants, 5 to 10% in the elderly, 15% in adults). It can manifest itself in a few hours and lead to death in the absence of appropriate treatment.