Did you know that Burn Awareness Week was in February? So if you are like most people, you probably missed it and perhaps didn’t even know it existed. However, anyone who has had the misfortune to get seriously burned will know that burns are not so easy to forget - even more so when they live a lasting visual reminder - a scar.
What type of burn are there?
There are 3 types of burn:
1. First degree burns
These are the least serious. They only affect the epidermis (outside layer of the skin) and do not leave any lasting scars.
2. Second degree burns
This type of burn is slightly more serious. It goes deeper than just the epidermis - affecting also the dermis. If the burn is a ‘superficial partial thickness’ burn, then it usually heals in around three weeks without leaving a scar. However, if it is a ‘deep partial thickness’ burn, then it may well leave a scar.
3. Third degree burns
As you may have guessed, this is the most serious type of burn. It goes deeper than the dermis and may even affect the underlying tissue. This type of burn will most definitely leave a scar.
How to prevent burns?
Prevention of burns is of course the ideal scenario. Workplaces should ensure they take all reasonable and appropriate measures to reduce the chances of burn injuries. For example, they should ensure that employees are wearing the appropriate clothing and equipment, plus ensure that suitable barricades and protection are present. See a full list of OSHA recommendations regarding burn prevention.
How to treat burns?
The sooner a burn is treated, the lower the chance of permanent scarring. For this reason, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible following your burn. In the event that your burn ends up leaving a permanent scar, then you may wish to speak with Dr. Zaydon who offers plastic surgery for scars in Miami.If your burn was sustained while performing work duties, it is likely covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance. In this scenario, you are usually entitled to medical treatment to return to you your Maximum Medical Improvement. In the case of scars, it would require attempting to remove the scar, as it was not previously present prior to the injury. Speak with our Workers Compensation Plastic Surgeon for more information.
Burns are - excuse the pun - not a hot topic. However, they should be. They can leave very visual reminders of the accident, especially if they are sustained on the face or other very visible parts of the body. For this reason, we should remember Burn Awareness Week and make every effort to reduce the chance of burns both in the workplace and in domestic settings.