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Burns

The skin, an important organ that acts as a natural cover and holds our many underlying components together, important in multiple functions, yet it can be so easily marred. Burns, one of the reasons for skin damage, are the destruction of the different layers within the skin by exposure to excessive heat; heat that is greater than 120 degrees Fahrenheit, or by friction, electricity or chemical substances. The heat from the exposure cannot be distributed fast enough in the rest of the body, resulting in a breakdown of tissues exposed to heat.

Unlike other tissue damages, burns can cover a wider range of surface area. The causes may come from a variety of events such as boiling liquid, exposure to harmful chemicals, or electrical shock. Signs that indicate a burn may be swelling, redness of the area of damage, and pain. Burns are categorized by degree based on the duration, size and severity of injury; the least severe being first degree burns, second degree burns and the worst, third degree burns.

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Not only are there the regular, common burns that would first come to mind, but there are also chemical burns and electrical burns.

Chemical burns occur when the skin is exposed to a corrosive substance that consists of either a strong base or acid. Electrical burns are cause by contact with electric conducting objects that are live. Types of treatment are determined by the severity and also determine the place to which the person should receive the treatment. Regeneration of the damaged tissue will differ accordingly to the type of burn. First degree burn, it refers to the superficial damage to the skin and causes only local inflammation.

The inflammation consists of pain, a small amount of swelling, dryness and redness. Peeling, of the area affected, may be seen. This type of burn will only have an effect on the epidermis. Examples of first degree burns include sunburns, flash burns or any other burn that derives from a brief exposure to severe heat. Treatment for this type of burn depends on the location, cause, extent of the burn and may include cold compresses, skin soothing ointments or pain relieving aspirin. The skin usually heals within a time span of a few days without permanent tissue damage.

Second degree burns affect the epidermis and the superficial dermis layer of the skin. The burn is often characterized by moist blisters, skin lesions, and bits of shredded epidermis. Also, the injury is often displayed as white. The area of damage is prone to high risks of infection and victim experiences intense pain around the area. In a lot of cases, second degree burns are the consequences of exposure to flames, scald inducing events and contact with chemicals, electricity or hot objects.

The treatments for second degree burns depend of the same characteristic of first degree burns. Second degree burns include the addition of extra care to prevent infections. The skin heals within about 3 weeks and 6 weeks if the wound is superficial or deep, as the skin re-epithelializes. At the end of healing, there is minimal scarring to no scarring at all although discoloration of the area may be present. A third degree burn, also referred to as a full thickness burn, destroys the epidermis, the entire dermis beneath it, injures the subcutaneous tissue, and may spread to the muscles.

Accessory structures are destroyed. The area of the wound may appear white and leathery due to the damages done to the blood vessels and nerves. The affected skin may also appear black, yellow, or even brown and is painless due to the impairment of vessels and nerves. The skin loses its elasticity, becomes dry and produces the appearance of being charred. Some of the causes of third degree burns may include scalding liquids, flames, chemical substances, over-exposure to excess heat or even electricity.

If not taken into serious account with medical attention, the damaged skin will heal poorly and slowly. Since the epidermis and hair follicles are eliminated, new skin will not form. Treatments for these burns consist of procedures such as attentive care and cleaning, skin grafting, anti-biotic mediation and as such. The smaller areas will take fewer months to heal than the larger areas since those require grafting, which is the replacement of the previous damaged skin with transplant skin through surgery. ttp://www. webmd. com/skin-problems-and-treatments/third-degree-burn-full-thickness-burn http://www. medicinenet. com/burns/page2. htm http://faculty. stcc. edu/AandP/AP/AP1pages/Units1to4/skin/repairof. htm http://www. urmc. rochester. edu/encyclopedia/content. aspx? ContentTypeID=90&ContentID=P01760 http://www. chw. org/display/PPF/DocID/21911/router. asp http://www. metrohealth. org/body. cfm? id=1014&oTopID=1007 http://www. rayur. com/skin-burn-anatomy-definition-causes-symptoms-and-treatment. html

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