Burns are defined as wounds that affect the skin tissues and cause cell necrosis after the body is exposed to high intensity and long-term heat, electricity, radiation or chemicals.
Burns can be distinguished based on their depth and extent in:
Superficial burns: the burn extends superficially on the skin.
Partial-thickness burns (superficial or deep): the burn has affected the upper and middle layers of the skin.
Full thickness burns: the burn has caused severe skin damage and has even affected healthy underlying tissues or muscles, tendons, and bones.
The severity of the burn is calculated by the expanse the injured area occupies and according to the age of each patient (Burn index).
The treatment of burns
Superficial burns can be fought conservatively by bandaging and cleaning the area frequently, drinking plenty of fluids to hydrate the body and taking special analgesics that will reduce the pain and feeling of tightness. Deeper burns, however, require surgery, especially when they occupy more than 25% of the total skin surface in the body, to avoid the possibility of functional abnormalities and infection.
During the surgery in areas where all the layers of the skin have been damaged, the dead tissues are removed, leaving the blisters that have been created intact, and they are replaced with skin grafts from healthy areas. The operation, depending on the extent of the burns, can be done under local anesthesia or general anesthesia. In addition, post-burn contracture scars that restrict movement and create an unsightly visual effect can be corrected. To treat them, it is recommended to use skin grafts or flaps and the use of skin dilatators.
Restoration of burns of this degree can often require more than one operation to achieve the desired result. In any case, the affected areas can only be smoothed out and partially restored to their functionality. The goal of every Plastic Surgeon and the team that supports him is to achieve the best possible result aesthetically and functionally, offering the patient a better quality of life.