There are a number of things that can cause a burn wound, like hot or boiling liquids, steam, flames, touching a hot object, electricity, or through chemical agents.
Many people don’t know that the skin is actually the biggest organ in the human body. There is a symbiotic relationship between healthy skin, your body’s barrier against the outside world, and microbes like bacteria and fungi. However, when your skin is impaired, as in the case of burns, the risk of these microbes causing infections increases drastically. In this article we look at how BluLyte Wound Care can help care for burns.
Types of burns:
The two factors that healthcare professionals look at when evaluating a burn are the depth of the burn and the burn size. There are three degrees of burn injuries:
- First-degree burns: The top layer of the skin is affected and these burns cause minor injuries. These types of burn injuries are easiest to treat at home.
Symptoms: Burnt skin may be red, sensitive, and show signs of swelling.
2. Second-degree burns: The top and second layer of skin is affected, and these injuries usually take 1 to 3 weeks to heal properly. Second-degree burns are more painful and more serious than first-degree burns. These types of burns are generally treated in a number of ways including with ointments and specialised dressings. In serious cases, surgery may be necessary.
Symptoms: Burnt skin develops redness and blisters, and may bleed. Unlike third-degree burns, it is not common for second-degree burns to develop raised scars.
3. Third-degree burns: Both layers of skin are injured and underlying tissue like muscles and tendons may also become damaged. These are the most serious types of burns and also the burns that are most at risk for developing an infection. Skin grafts are common in treating third-degree burns.
Symptoms: Burnt skin may become discoloured and feel leathery to the touch. In serious cases the patient may feel no pain because their nerve endings have been damaged.
Organisms that pose a risk to healing burn wounds:
In a previous article, we looked at the risk biofilms pose to wounds, and how they slow down the body’s healing process. It should be noted that biofilms play a big part in causing infections in burn wounds.
Because the skin’s natural defences and naturally occurring microbes are affected in the event of a burn, it increases the risk of infection, both bacterial and fungal. Previous studies have found that Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria and various fungal species colonise burn sites. It is vital to reduce the chances of microbial overgrowth in order to properly treat the burn site.
Cleaning and treating burn wounds:
Because burns can be so painful, you should take the greatest care when treating and dressing burn wounds.
- Remove any previous dressing.
- Carefully wash the burn wound twice a day and gently pat dry.
- Soak clean gauze in BluLyte Wound Care and apply to the burned area for a 10-minute contact period.
- Remove the soiled gauze and wipe the area with clean gauze soaked in BluLyte Wound Care solution.
- Cover the wound with a non-stick bandage. There are bandages developed specifically for burn sites.
- If you are treating your wound at home, change the dressing one to three times a day.
- If you are being treated by a medical professional, follow their recommended schedule on how often to change the dressing.
- Contact your doctor immediately if you see any signs of possible infection.
Things to remember:
- Try not to scratch your burn, even though it may itch as it starts to heal.
- Do not open any blisters that may form. This increases the risk of infection.
- Always take prescribed antibiotics as directed by your doctor or nurse.
- You should protect your burn while it is healing. This includes both from the cold and from the sun.
Why BluLyte Wound Care is optimal for burn wounds:
Hypochlorous acid has been used in wound cleaning since World War 1. Recently, HOCl has also been studied as a possible burn wound solution because of its antimicrobial and wound healing properties.
- The pH of healthy skin tends towards slightly acidic, with a pH of 4.5 – 6.5. BluLyte Wound Care is also formulated in the slightly acidic range of 4.5 – 6.5 to accommodate the skin pH. This allows for quicker healing.
- BluLyte Wound Care is non-cytotoxic and non-irritating to sensitive, healing tissues, unlike other substances like alcohol-based disinfectants and hydrogen peroxide.
- Due to its active ingredient, BluLyte Wound Care is able to kill opportunistic bacteria and fungi that could otherwise try to colonise healing, sensitive tissues like graft sites and burn wounds.
- BluLyte Wound Care is able to disrupt biofilms and thus minimise the risk of wounds becoming infected.
- Unlike with antibiotics and antimicrobial agents, microbes are unable to build resistance to hypochlorous acid, keeping it effective against a wide range of pathogenic microorganisms.
- BluLyte Wound Care is effective at killing most bacteria, including Gram-positive and Gram-negative strains, as well fungi and spores. You can learn more about our test results here.