The pain due to burns can be challenging to manage since burns tend to vary in type and severity. The 3 types of burns include the following:
- 1st degree are mild and cause discomfort and reddening of the epidermis.
- 2nd degree affect the epidermis and dermis that can cause redness, pain, swelling and blistering.
- 3rd degree go beyond the dermis and affect the deeper tissues which cause charred, blackened skin that can become numb.
Causes of burns
Dry heat, radiation, wet heat, friction, electricity, the sun, heated objects and chemicals can cause injury.
The most common type of burns is thermal in nature. These burns occur when hot metals, flames, steam or scalding liquids come in contact with the skin. Take note that these can occur from various circumstances including vehicular accidents, household fires, kitchen mishaps and electrical malfunctions.
Symptoms of burns
- Reddened skin
- Peeling skin
- Charred or white skin
- Disturbances in the heart rhythm after an electrical injury
Management of burns
The treatment depends on the type of burn. Nevertheless, all burns should be kept clean and proper dressing must be applied depending on the severity. Proper management is vital to ensure proper control during wound care. In addition, the wounds should be reassessed for indications of infection and other possible long-term issues such as tightening of the skin over the joints and muscles as well as scarring.
For 1st degree cases, it might be managed with skin products such as aloe vera cream or any form of antibiotic ointment. Cover the skin with a dry gauze to protect the area. Pain medications such as acetaminophen can be given to reduce the pain of the injury.
As for 2nd degree cases, they are managed with an antibiotic cream or those given by the doctor. The management for 3rd degree burns requires skin grafting or synthetic skin. Severe cases that cover a large area require intensive treatment such as intravenous antibiotics to prevent infection or intravenous fluids to replace those lost when the skin was burned.
Management of pain from a burn
The pain from a burn can be intense and prolonged. The pain is difficult to manage due to its unique characteristics, changing patterns and various components. In addition, there is pain involved during the treatment since the wounds are cleansed and the dressings are changed.
Based on studies, it revealed that the management of pain from burned skin can be inadequate. With this in mind, aggressive treatments are recommended for the dfrom burns. In addition, some cases can be mentally traumatic and/or physically defacing that can lead to psychological pain that must be dealt with as well.