It happens faster than you think. Often you get minor burns, but more serious burns can quickly develop. But how does a burn happen and how bad are they? We answer the most important questions about burns.
What do burns look like on the body?
The skin is the largest organ on our body and is always affected by burns. It always depends on the severity of the burn. Burns on the body are first noticeable by a reddish discolouration. The more severe the burn, the more likely it is that small blisters will form. Burns must be treated as soon as possible. Otherwise, the wound may become infected.
At this point, the wound starts to ulcerate and smell a little strong. The longer you wait to treat the burn, the longer it will take to heal. These are only minor burns that can be very uncomfortable but will heal after a while.
Then there are also very severe burns that are visible on the body. You may have seen someone with scars all over their body or on certain parts of their body. These are severe burns, usually caused by a fire or a similarly dangerous accident. Scars remain on the body that can never be removed. Nevertheless, you can lead a normal life with such scars, even if most of the skin is damaged.
The different degrees of a burn
It is not the temperature that is responsible for the degree of burn, but the exposure time. The longer a person is exposed to a fire, for example, the more severe the injuries become. The heat eventually reaches the organs via the skin and can also damage them. The damage of burns can be classified into different stages.
The different degrees of burns:
- 1st degree burn
- 2nd degree burn
- 3rd degree burn
- 4th degree burn
1st degree burn
This is the weakest degree of burns. The burn is noticeable by slight reddening. No blisters form yet. The redness is caused by increased blood flow to the body to treat the affected area itself. The redness should heal relatively quickly.
2nd degree burn
If the burn is somewhat more severe and the first blisters form, it is called a 2nd degree burn. A distinction can be made here between 2nd degree burn A and B.
With stage A, healing should also be possible without further consequences. The skin recovers and there are no scars. The blisters dry out after a while and a very dry crust forms, which can be painful.
In stage B, the burn is somewhat more severe and the resulting blisters may leave scars. Typical for stage B is that the scars tear and the swellingis much stronger.
3rd degree burn
Here, the burn penetrates the fatty tissue of the skin and leaves clear damage. Reddish and black-brown burns form. Healing takes much longer than in the first two degrees. What is special here is that there is usually no feeling of pain in the affected area. Why? The nerves in the skin have been destroyed by the heat. In some cases, the affected area must be replaced with a graft.
4th degree burn
In this case, not only the skin is burnt, but also deeper structures. Tendons, bones or even muscles are affected. Depending on the severity of the burn, the damage can also extend to the organs.
Consequences of a burn
The consequences of a burn can range from very mild to very severe. In most cases, the skin recovers after some time and no damage remains. In the case of accident or burn victims, severe damage often remains. This is usually noticeable through the skin.
How exactly? Deep scars remain. Nevertheless, one can lead a largely normal life with the consequences of a severe burn. However, those affected have to be careful with their skin. The damaged skin is much more vulnerable than before.
First aid for burns: Instructions
What to do if you suffer a burn? We have collected the most important tips for burns.
Follow the steps below:
- If the clothing is on fire, try to extinguish the fire as quickly as possible. Use water, roll the person on the floor, or smother the fire with a blanket.
- Remove the burnt clothing quickly and carefully.
- Then dial the emergency number as soon as possible.
- Provide first aid if necessary. With our app, you can even quickly request professional first aid in the immediate vicinity.
- You can treat minor burns with cool water to achieve a “felt” relief of the pain that occurs.
- You can treat burns on the face with wet wipes. Make sure that the airways are always kept clear.
- Large burns should not be cooled under any circumstances, otherwise there is a risk of hypothermia.
- Instead, cover larger burns with a bandage.
- Try to reassure the affected person and fight the shock.
- If necessary, the affected person may become unconscious. Then place the person in the recovery position.
- If the person is still unconscious and has a cardiac arrest, start resuscitation measures.
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