Scald refers to a burn from a hot liquid or steam. The injury that occurs by scalding is usually regional. Severe scalding occurs when hot liquids enter an orifice. Scald burns can range from reddened skin to blisters. There could be oozing of fluid when severe scalding occurs. Scalding does not cause death. However, death has occurred in unusual cases, say when the victim had accidentally broken a steam pipe.
Scald and children
It is estimated that each year at least 4000 children under age 14 are scalded by hot water in the US. Scalding usually occurs while they are in the bath tub. It takes just three seconds for a child to sustain a third degree burn from water at 140 degree F or higher. Bath and shower water and sink faucets can cause common threats to children. Scalding is the second common cause of serious burn injuries in children. Scalding usually occurs in children less than five years of age. This is because an infant's reflexes do not quickly respond to hot temperature threats. The child's skin is thinner than an adult's skin and therefore more prone to scalding.
Measures to prevent scald in the bathroom
Measures to prevent scald in the kitchen
When severe scalding occurs, always check for airway, breathing and circulation. Difficulty in breathing could be a significant clue to inhalation injury. Serious scald burns that cover a large area of the body of the child could be life threatening. Seek medical help without any delay.
First aid for scald burns
Second Degree Burns
When the epidermis and part of the dermis of the skin are involved in any burn injury, it is known as a second-degree burn. Depending on the level of nerve involvement, the severity of the pain varies in second-degree burns. In the case of second-degree burns, in addition to superficial blistering, there is accumulation of clear liquid in the area. Involving superficial or papillary dermis, second-degree burns sometimes involve the reticular or deep layer of the dermis.
When the skin experiences any burn or surface damage, the surrounding layer of the skin expands resulting in a blister. The Plasma or serum is released as the result of the damaged Keratinocytes - outermost layer of the skin. The released plasma /serum helps to prevent further damage and also to help in the healing process. This is the reason why blisters should not be punctured as it would invite infection to the affected skin. The serous fluid will be reabsorbed by the skin usually after 24 hours if there is no infection.
According to the severity of these burns, they are further classified as deep or superficial. When only the outermost part of the dermis is involved, it is called superficial. Extreme pain and hypersensitivity to touch are characteristics of superficial burns. Appearing moist and red or mottled pink in color, the skin at the area of the burn blanches on pressure. Usually blisters appear after some time. Normally, this kind of superficial second - degree or partial thickness burns heal by themselves.
Blood Blister : This ensues when a part of the skin is pinched or crushed with force. The capillaries affected by the force rupture leaking blood into the skin.
Tissue destruction to the deeper layers of the dermis is involved in deep second - degree and deep partial thickness burns. In contrast to the superficial type, these deep second -degree burns are usually dry and whitish in appearance, but they may appear like superficial burns. Normally pain is associated with this type of burns, though the skin does not blanch. It may take three to four weeks for the burn to heal. Thick or hypertrophic scars may remain even after the injury heals.
Causes of a second-degree burn include scald injuries, flames and a brief contact of the skin with a hot object. Sometimes deep sunburn, contact with hot liquids or chemicals and burning gasoline or kerosene also may cause second-degree burns. With second degree burns, the skin color turns to deep red and you will notice blisters. The burnt area appears shiny and moist. Second-degree burns that are only superficial normally heal in about three weeks. Care should be taken to keep the wound clean and protected. For effective treatment of second degree burns, the following conditions are considered:
Person affected by burns of this type may go into shock, since they lose lots of fluid from the burned site, if the injury involves more than 10% of skin. If a second-degree burn is greater than 2 or 3 inches in diameter, only a medical professional should treat it. It is safe to treat a burn like this at home only when it is a smaller. According to the severity of the burn, treatment may vary from antibiotic ointments to systemic antibiotics. Every day cleaning of the wound is necessary to remove dead skin. Depending on the severity of the burn, the dressing should be changed at least once or twice a day. It may be painful for the patient when the dressing is changed. A pain reliever or analgesic will help to reduce the pain. Care should be taken not to burst any blisters that have formed.
First Aid for second-degree burns
When there are open blisters following second-degree burns:
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Bibliography / Reference
Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: February 23, 2024