Burns are categorised into three types based on severity. First-degree burns are mild and only affect the top-most layer of the skin, i.e. the epidermis. Second-degree burns penetrate further, to the dermis. Third-degree burns affect all three layers of the skin – the epidermis, the dermis and the subcutaneous fat layer. Third degree burns usually destroy hair follicles and sweat glands too. Third-degree burns that cover more than 1% of the patient’s body are considered severe, and require hospitalisation. The management of burns depends on the
- Percentage of burns compared to the total body surface area
- Depth of burns
- Cause of burns – flame burns , chemical burns etc
- Structures involved ex: Hand , face , Chest
Deeper burns require skin grafts or flaps to replace the burnt tissue. The skin graft is taken from an uninjured part of the patient’s body. If the patient doesn’t have enough healthy skin available for a graft, skin grafts from a deceased donor or an artificial skin graft may be used temporarily to tide over the emergency situation.