What is the diagnosis and treatment of burns?
During the physical exam, your doctor will examine your burned skin and determine what percentage of your total body surface area is involved.
For people ages 10 to 40, the American Burn Association defines a severe burn as one that involves 25 percent total body surface area or any burn involving the eyes, ears, face, hands, feet or groin.
You’ll also be examined for other injuries and to determine whether the burn has affected the rest of your body. You may need lab tests, X-rays or other diagnostic procedures.
Treatment of burns depends on the type and extent of the injuries.
Most minor burns can be treated at home using over-the-counter products or aloe. They usually heal within a few weeks.
For serious burns, after appropriate first aid care and wound assessment, your treatment may involve medications, wound dressings, therapy and surgery.
The goals of treatment are to control pain, remove dead tissue, prevent infection, reduce scarring, regain function and address emotional needs.
You may need months of additional treatments and therapy. This may be done during a hospital stay, on an outpatient basis or at home. Factors affecting this choice include your wishes, other conditions and abilities, such as whether you’re able to change bandages.