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Burns

Many burns affect only the skin, and are superficial (like a sunburn). Burns that affect deeper tissue are classed as partial-thickness (wet, painful, pink or red) or full-thickness (dry, no pain, grey/brownish, may look like normal skin but without sensation) depending on the depth. All burns may be painful, and it is often the superficial and partial-thickness ones that are the most painful.

Burning charcoal

A burn can be caused by:

  • Dry heat: for example, fire.
  • Hot fluids (scalds): for example, hot shower, steam, hot oil.
  • Chemical (acid, alkaline): for example, hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, caustic soda, cement.
  • Electrical: low voltage for example, flash or high voltage for example, power lines.
  • Radiation: for example, sunburn, sun lamps.

People with diabetes have reduced sensation in their feet and so are susceptible to scalds and thermal injuries there.

Consulting a healthcare provider

If the partial-thickness burn is bigger than your hand (palm and fingers) or located on hand, armpit, genital, face, neck, hollow of the knee or feet, you should always seek a healthcare professional’s help. All full-thickness (deep) burns should always be taken care of by a doctor.

If the wound gets worse or persists or if there are signs of infection such as redness, swelling, fever, pain or burning, increased drainage, becomes warm to the touch, then consult a health care provider.

$3 off any box of Hospital Series Wound Care dressings

Other Wound Types

All Wound Types

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