Burn injuries are extremely painful and the risk of infection is high because the outer layer of skin is damaged. Although burns do not bleed, burn injuries result in fluid loss, loss of temperature control and can damage underlying layer of tissue and nerves.
Remove any clothing and jewellery from the affected area to allow effective cooling of the burn.
Cool the burn under cool running water for 20 minutes—this will stop the burning process and also help ease the pain.
Cover the burn with a clean lint free cloth or if it is a large area, cover loosely with cling wrap to lessen the chance of infection.
Seek medical advice if the burn is larger than a 20 cent piece or on the face, hands, feet or groin area.
These burns cause damage to the first or top layer of skin only. The burn area will be red and painful. E.g. sunburn.
These burns cause damage to the first and second skin layers. The burn area will be red, peeling, blistered and swelling with clear or yellow-coloured fluid leaking from the skin.
This involves damage to both the first and second skin layers, plus the underlying tissue. The burn site generally appears black or charred with white exposed fatty tissue. The nerves are destroyed and the pain will not be as great in the full thickness.
The management of burns can depend on the type and extent of the injury. While most minor burns can be treated at home using cool running water for 20 minutes, more serious burns may require medical treatment and medication. The main aim when managing a burn is to control pain, remove dead tissue, prevent infection and reduce scarring.
Burns can be caused by thermal friction (flame), ultraviolet (UV) radiation, hot liquids, electricity, and certain chemicals. All burns require immediate First Aid treatment. Some burns may result in urgent medical attention or skin graft surgery.
Therapeutic treatment, x-rays, welding equipment and radioactive materials, but the most common is sunburn.
Fire (flame), steam, hot objects or liquids in direct contact with the body.
Electrical energy from the mains or lighting can produce very serious burns.
Most common chemicals in the home cause burns. E.g. pool acid, caustic soda, dishwashing power.
apply lotions, ointments or oily dressings.
prick or break blisters.
give casualty alcohol.
over cool casualty.
use towels, cotton wool, blankets or adhesive dressings directly on burn.
remove clothing stuck to burnt area.