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Different Types of Burns: Thermal, Electrical and Chemical

Every day the risk of sustaining a burn is around us – it can either happen at home, in the workplace or even in public areas. As a matter of fact, burns are considered to be one of the most common household injuries, especially among children. A severe case of burns causes the skin cells to die and requires extensive medical attention for a long period of time. On the other hand, minor burns can be treated with a cream and heal within several weeks.

It is important to understand the types of burns and their classification to know when it’s time to seek medical help. Miami burns expert have listed the information you need to know about the different types of burns.

Different types of burns

Thermal burns

A thermal burn happens when you have touched something that is hot. It typically comes from flames or fire, explosions, hot liquids or steam, and hot objects like cooking pans, irons or heated appliances.

The treatment for thermal burns solely depends on how severe the burn is and which area of the body is affected. Moderate to severe burns need immediate medical attention. It is important to call 911 to receive proper care. For first aid tips you can take these steps:

  • Make sure to put out any fire or flames and immediately stop contact with heated objects.
  • Make use of cold water to cool down the area that was burned. Cooling with ice is not advisable as it may damage the skin.
  • You can apply a cool, wet compress for mild burns to relieve the pain. Taking acetaminophen or ibuprofen is also advisable. This would further heal the burned area.
  • It is applicable to apply a loosely sterile bandage or sterile cloth to the burned area for severe burns. Do not remove the loose skin or pop the blisters. Burns expert in Miami advise people to seek medical help for proper treatment especially if the burn is severe.

Electrical burns

Electrical burns occur when the body comes in contact with a live electric current. When that happens, you may be injured due to the strong jolt entering your body because the systems of our body is not resistant to electricity.

Electrical burn injury is commonly caused by contact with a worn away extension cord. Low-voltage electrical burns can occur in the mouth, which usually happen to young children when they accidentally place non-insulated cords in their mouth. To avoid this, create a safe environment for your children, make sure your electrical cords are stored away in a safe place.

Electrical burns may be visible on your skin if the electric current runs through your body. Severe electrical burns need immediate medical care as they can affect internal tissues and muscles. These may cause several negative effects to your health.

Chemical burns

A harsh irritant, such as, acid, causes chemical burns. They occurs when your skin or eyes are exposed to chemical substances like:

  • Strong cleaning products
  • Ammonia
  • Bleach
  • Chlorine
  • Battery acid
You can do these first aid steps if you experience chemical burns:
  • Thoroughly rinse the burned area with running water for about 10 minutes.
  • If it occurs in the eye, wash it for 20 minutes to remove the chemical residues.
For severe chemical burns, call 911 or consult a burns expert. You can recognize a severe burn by these symptoms:
  • The chemical burn is larger than three inches
  • It occurs on areas such as face, hands, feet, groin or buttocks
  • The burnt person is experiencing a severe pain after taking some over the counter pain relief medication
  • Your major joints are affected
Medical treatment for chemical burns may include:
  • Wound care and removal of dead skin or tissue
  • Administering IV fluids to regulate body temperature and to speed up the healing process
  • Topical or oral antibiotic medications to prevent infection build up
  • Skin grafting. This procedure is the process of covering the burned area with healthy skin taken from another area of the body

Severe cases of these types of burns need immediate medical treatment. You can consult our burns expert in Miami who specializes in treating different types of burns and reconstructive plastic surgery.

Plastic Surgery for Burns – Further information

Thomas Zaydon, M.D. is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in reconstructive surgery, including the treatment of burns. In addition to treating burns, he also frequently serves as a Plastic Surgery Consultant, Expert Witness, Expert Medical Advisor, provides IMEs, and Peer Reviews.

Contact us today for more information. Call us directly at (305) 856-3030 or visit our website www.drzaydon.com

Contact us today for more information. Call us directly at (305) 856-3030 or visit our website www.drzaydon.com

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.


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