Nutrition for Special Groups 3(3+0)

Lesson 36 : Burns


Treatment for First-Degree Burns

First-degree burns usually heal on their own within a week. Treatment may depend on the severity of the burn and may include the following:

  • cold compresses
  • lotion or ointments
  • acetaminophen or ibuprofen for pain

First-degree burns are usually not bandaged.

Treatment for second-degree burns

Superficial second-degree burns usually heal in about three weeks, as long as the wound is kept clean and protected. Deep second-degree burns may take longer than three weeks to heal.
A second-degree burn that does not cover more than 10 percent of the skin's surface can usually be treated in an outpatient setting. Treatment depends on the severity of the burn and may include the following:

  • antibiotic ointments
  • dressing changes one or two times a day depending on the severity of the burn
  • daily cleaning of the wound to remove dead skin or ointment
  • possibly systemic antibiotics

Wound cleaning and dressing changes may be painful. In these cases, an analgesic (pain reliever) may need to be given. In addition, any blisters that have formed should not be burst.

Treatment for Third-Degree Burns

Treatment for third-degree burns will depend on the severity of the burn. Burn severity is determined by the amount of body surface area that has been affected. The burn severity will be determined by child's physician. Treatment for third-degree burns may include the following:

  • Early cleaning and debriding (removing dead skin and tissue from the burned area). This procedure can be done in a special bathtub in the hospital or as a surgical procedure.
  • intravenous (IV) fluids containing electrolytes
  • antibiotics by intravenous (IV) or by mouth
  • antibiotic ointments or creams
  • a warm, humid environment for the burn
  • nutritional supplements and a high-protein diet
  • pain medications
  • skin grafting (may be required to achieve closure of the wounded area)
  • functional and cosmetic reconstruction

Consequences- Destruction of the skin permits loss of water, heat and water soluble materials. It also allows micro organisms to gain access to subcutaneous tissue.

Last modified: Wednesday, 9 May 2012, 9:31 AM