Degree of burns

Burns are burns that are classified into grade I to grade IV depending on the severity of the tissue damage.


Classification or degrees of combustion

First degree burns
Less severe burns are those in which only the outer layer of skin is burned.

Signs of grade I burn include:

A grade 1 burn is to be considered as a simple sunburn unless it is extended to essential areas of:

  • Hands
  • feet,
  • Face
  • Achieve
  • Buttocks.

In this case, intervention by the emergency doctor is required.

Second degree burn
This skin lesion is called grade II burn when the first layer of skin (epidermis) and the second layer of skin (dermis) have been burned.
Signs of grade II burn include:

If the second-degree combustion is no larger than 7-8 cm in diameter, it is treated as a light burn.
It must be regarded as a serious burn requiring immediate medical intervention if the burned zone is extensive or if the following areas are affected:

  • Hands
  • Feet
  • Face
  • Genitalia
  • Buttocks
  • a large joint.

Third degree burns
The more severe burns affect all layers of the skin and lead to permanent damage to the tissue.
Among the affected tissues are:

  • subcutaneous tissue (adipose tissue),
  • Brawn.

The burnt areas may be charred black or they may appear dry and white.

Fourth degree burns
These are the most severe burns of the full extent, which extend to:

  • Brawn
  • Bone.

Lesions from 4th degree burns appear black or charred.

Wallace’s rule of nine

In order to determine how large the combustion area is and to initiate adequate treatment, the rule of nine is applied.
It is a theoretical division of the body into different areas that correspond to a determined surface.
9% corresponds to each of the following areas:

  • head and neck;
  • upper extremities (both arms);
  • Breast;
  • upper back;
  • Abdomen;
  • lower back (lumbar region);
  • front of the lower limb (one leg);
  • Back of the lower limb (one leg).

The prognosis is good if the burn affects less than 25% of the body surface area, what is above that can lead to serious complications, for example, infection.

What causes a first-degree burn and how can it be prevented?

Most first-degree burns can be prevented if the right precautions are taken.
The following are some common causes of superficial burns.

Burn due to sunburn Sunburn
develops with too long exposure to the sun and insufficient application of sun protection.
Sun produces ultraviolet rays (UV) that penetrate the upper layer of the skin; They cause:

You can prevent this by applying sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.

Hot liquid or steam, for example:

  • boiling water,
  • hot oil,
  • high-temperature water vapour jet.

Fluids are a common cause of first- and second-degree burns in children under the age of 4. Hot liquids spilled from a pot from the stove or steam during cooking can cause burns to:

  • Hands
  • Face
  • Body.

Electric power
Sockets, cables or electrical appliances are interesting things for a child, but they hide significant dangers such as electrical burns or electric shocks.

Hot metal, glass or other objects
Sometimes women perform hair removal with wax that is too hot or pull off the applied wax too suddenly, tearing off a piece of skin.

Burns are caused by substances that decompose body tissues regardless of temperature, for example:

  • sulphuric acid and hydrochloric acid,
  • Soda lye.

Burns of the eyes can be caused by splashes of such chemical substances when they get into the eyes. In such a case, an immediate washout with water must be carried out (except in the case of unquenched lime, as this would lead to a reaction), then immediately visit a medical emergency room.

X-ray exposure or radiotherapy for cancer treatment.

Ice ice or excessive cold: even low temperatures can lead to burns. One example is the application of ice on a joint in osteoarthritis without appropriate skin protection.

Symptoms of burns

1st degree
The patient feels pain at:

  • touching the skin,
  • Rubbing or massaging the skin.

2nd degree

1. Bubbles
2. The burn can cause severe pain and burning on the skin.
The intensity of pain does not correspond to the degree of burns, severe burns can be painless. The reason is that the nerves carrying the pain signals are damaged.
3. Skin detachment
4. Red skin
5. Swelling

3rd and 4th degree

  • Hypovolemic shock:
    • Amount of liquid
    • decreased blood circulation
    • low oxygen level in the blood (pale and sweaty skin, weakness, blue lips and nails and decreasing alertness)
  • Carbonized or white skin
  • Poisoning by carbon monoxide
  • Other toxic effects from smoke inhalation

Symptoms of burn of the respiratory tract:
1. Irritation and burning in the mouth, nose, chest and lips
2. Burns to the head, face and neck
3. Gasping breathing
4. Change in voice
5. Difficulty breathing, coughing
6. Scorched nose hair and eyebrows
7. Dark spotted and sooty mucus

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