Types of burns
Skin burnsare a very unpleasant condition that can be caused by a variety of thermal effects such as contact with hot objects or fire, excessive exposure to sunlight, splashing with hot water, contact with hot steam, as well as electrical current, chemical substances, some of which acids and bases, and so on.
The duration and intensity of the thermal or chemical exposure to the abovementioned factors, determine the extent and degree of the skin burn.
There are four degrees of skin burn:
- The first degree is the lightest, in which thesurface layer of the skin is damaged and the symptoms are redness and mild pain
- The second degree affects the dermis, and the symptoms are more serious: stronger pain and formation of blisters
- The third degree affects the subcutaneous tissue, as the damage occurs due to the dead tissues
- The fourth degree of skin burns is the most serious one,as it affects tendons, muscles, nerves, all layers of the skin. This degree is very dangerous because it may lead to death due to the major damages to the organism.
Children most often get burned with hot drinks or foods, while adults are more vulnerable to chemical burns(in case of carelessness, suicide attempt and so on). The sodium hydroxidehas the most damaging effect. Household burns are very common, as they may occur when drinking beverages from poorly washed bottles that have been treated with the sodium hydroxide.
When the burning is caused by acids, the tissues become gray in some places, while burning with bases causes awhitish deposit that covers the mucosa.In order to establish if there is a damage to the esophagus, it is necessary to carry out an endoscopic examination one week after the burning.
Acid burns are not as severe as those with bases,because they release steams that can be seen, so their consumption can be prevented.
Other common burns are those of the digestive mucosa. These may occur due to consumption of very hot beverages and foods, as well of a chemicals or substances with very low or very high acidity. As a result occur ulcerations of the lining of different range and depth.
Burns of the respiratory mucosa are quite different. They can be caused by accidents at work, inhalation of chemicals, inhalation of firesmoke,improper appication ofhydrogen peroxide for the treatment of rhinitis, sinusitis and so on. This condition should be diagnosed after an endoscopic examination.
Quite unpleasant are the burns of eye conjunctivitis. Due to chemical or thermal effects, lesionsappear on the conjunctivae on one or both eyes. Other causes may include improperly prepared eye drops, handling of hazardous substances without the necessary precautionary measures.
Burns can be obtained in various circumstances and can have a different degree of damage. For some one can self-medicate, while others require medical attention.
A burn can be obtained in everyday life activities — burns from an open fire or hot surfaces, pouring with hot oil or water. In the industry, burns may be from chemicals such as acids, heavy electric shocks like voltaic arcs, etc. Most common are sunburns which can be from redness and itching on the skin to the appearance of blisters and wounds.
Burns may be on the skin but they may also affect the tissues in depth, and particularly severe ones can also affect the bones. Depending on the damage in depth, burns are determined to have four degrees.
In first degree the burning is superficial, when the skin is red and there is a slight dehydration, the body temperature may be raised. There are no serious consequences. Sunburns are usually first degree but they could also be heavier.
In second degree burns the dermis, which is a deeper layer of the skin under the epidermis is disturbed. This burn may be superficial or deep. In the case of a superficial burn, skin becomes red and blisters with fluid inside appear. It is painful but usually does not get infected and goes without surgery. In case of a deep burning, however, skin transplantation is required, infections often occur. Here the surprise is that the pain is weaker.
In third degree the damage is severe in depth, the skin becomes brownish or even black. A transplantation of skin is required in several stages.
In fourth degree tendons, muscles, bones are affected and the skin is charred.
Ayurveda remedies for treatment of burns
Ayurveda has numerous natural remedies and combinations to treat burns according to the type and extent of damage to the skin and body. In case of lighter burns, self-healing with Ayurveda's recommendations and products can also be done.
There are different options. Slices of vegetables or fruits (e.g. cucumber, apple) can be used which are applied for about half an hour on the affected areas with a cooling and analgesic effect.
Another option is to use vegetable juices with different herbs added to them which can be applied with cotton swabs in the burned places. There are ointments in the form of paste, powders, some of the products can be taken internally to speed up the treatment.
Traditionally, cooling curative oils are also used that have a versatile effect. They penetrate deeply and help not only to relieve the pain, but also play a significant role in tissue repair, especially in more severe burns.
They have an antibacterial properties, protect against inflammation, infections, the appearance of pus in the wounds. In such cases, it is appropriate to use Vranaropana Tailam. If there are wounds, it is possible to resort to the Jatiyadi Kera oil. Ayurveda also has a special face treatment in cases of sunburn – Sataduta Gritam.
As we have mentioned already, vegetable juices with added herbs can be used in light cases of home treatment. Fresh and chilled cucumber juice can also be used separately for applying onto the burned places but combinations can also be made.
A popular option is to mix in equal portions with juice and lime and apply it. Leave for about 20 minutes and wash away with lukewarm water. Cucumber juice can also be mixed with yogurt. You can also use tomato juice and milk in a 2:4 ratio measured in tablespoons.
Paste to be applied on the burned place can be made from sandalwood powder and turmeric, mixed with lukewarm water. Aloe vera can be used as gel, pink water, and coconut, lavender, rosehip, eucalyptus, sandalwood and other types of oil are popular.