How to treat an infected burn

There are complications to burn with infection of the wound a common one. Infection can prolong the healing or cause an ugly scar, even; it can cause sepsis in severe cases. All the above necessitate finding an answer to the question “How to treat an infected burn”?

Types of burn

Burn has different causes and mechanisms such as:

  • Scalds: burn secondary to hot water.
  • Thermal burn: because of contact with flame or hot object.
  • Electrical: due to transmission of an electrical current into the body.
  • Chemical burns: is secondary to the splash of a chemical substance on the skin.

Degree of burn

First degree: It is a superficial burn that involves the superficial layer of the skin.

Second degree: It involves the whole thickness of the skin.

Third degree: In reaches the tissues beneath the skin.

Complications of burn

  • Dehydration and loss of electrolytes because of loss of fluids by oozing from the burned area.
  • Infection of the burn wound which can lead to delayed healing or toxemia and septic shock.
  • Scar formation may cause dysfunction especially if on a joint or in the neck.

Manifestations of infected burn

  • Increased body temperature.
  • Change the color of the wound area.
  • Greenish or yellowish discharge with an offensive odor.
  • Swelling of the affected area with redness.
  • The pain of the burn area as well as difficult movement.
  • Oozing of blood.

Treatment of burn wound

  • The first aid of burn is to remove the patient from the source of burn.
  • If the cause is thermal, the burned area should be cooled by clean tap water for 10-20 min or till the pain is over.
  • Chemical burn necessitates removal of the chemical substance first by irrigation of the skin or the eye if affected.
  • In electrical caution, there should be the dissociation of the contact between the patient and electricity and then be transferred to the hospital for assessment of the heart rhythm.

Afterward, the main steps of treatment of burn wound are similar with some variations from type to type.

  • Clean sterile dressing of the wound.
  • Water-based cream to facilitate rapid healing.
  • Analgesics and anti-anxiety medications.
  • Fluid and electrolytes replacement.
  • Antibiotics to guard against infection.
  • Tetanus prophylaxis.

How to treat an infected burn?

It needs special care which needs close medical supervision.

  • Systemic antibiotics and antipyretic.
  • Painkilling medications as well as anti-inflammatories.
  • Cleaning of the wound.
  • Debridement, that’s to say surgical removal of dead tissues from the wound.
  • Drainage of pus.
  • Applying antibiotic creams as well as emollient creams.
  • A swab from the pus can be taken with subsequent culture and sensitivity study in order to identify the causative microbe, thus, determine a specific antibiotic.

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