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Our skin is the largest organ on our body and it serves a very important purpose. This organ protects our insides from the environment, maintains body temperature and provides a sense of touch. It is necessary for all human life. If something impacts the skin in negative manner, there can be grave consequences.
A major burn affects the skin first. It can be one of the most detrimental experiences to the human body because once skin is destroyed, it can affect other organs and systems as well. A burn occurs when something of high heat comes in contact with skin tissue. Burns can be caused for a variety of reasons that include:• Chemical
The severity of a burn is characterized by degree or size. The list below will help you identify what type of burn your loved one has:
First degree: Although painful, this category of burn is considered the least serious because only the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, is affected. If your loved one has this type of burn you will notice redness, minor swelling, or peeling. You can treat this type of burn with cool water, a gauze bandage, ointment, and, if necessary, an over the counter pain reliever.
Second degree: As far as severity goes, this type of burn is a step up from a first degree. It affects the epidermis and parts of the dermis, the second layer of the skin. A second degree burn can also damage bodily functions, primarily mobility. Most people will experience severe pain, swelling, blistering and splotching. Treatment for this type of burn depends on its size. If it is about the size of a baseball you should seek professional help immediately. In most cases, anything smaller can be treated at home.
Third degree: This is often referred to as a major burn. A third degree burn destroys both the epidermis and dermis and damages the nervous system, which results in a loss of sensation. The victim’s skin usually becomes white or is charred. This burn requires immediate medical care.
Fourth degree: Being the most severe, this is also referred to as a major burn. It damages nerves, tissue, muscles, all layers of the skin and sometimes even the bone. This burn requires immediate medical attention.
Size: Burns that cover more than 20 percent of the total body surface area (TBSA) require medical treatment as well. Excluding cases of first degree burns, the “Rule of Nines” is a commonly used measuring system for this purpose. This tool estimates the percentage of burn injury allotted to each anatomic area. Below is a list of these estimates:
Location: There are certain areas of the body that are more critical than others and require professional care. Below is a list of body parts that, if burned, can’t be treated at home.
Major burns require immediate medical attention. It is important to leave this process to the professionals to assure that your loved one receives the proper treatment. However, there are some steps you can take before you get to the hospital.