[건강 Q&A] I got burns on my hand…will it leave a scar?

“Dryness, UV rays, physical stimulation, and heat should be avoided for burn scar management”
Burns are skin conditions that cause burning pain and soreness. Severe burns cause not only physical pain, but also psychological pain by leaving large scars. How to minimize scarring while helping the burn site recover quickly?

First, Director Naeun-jong explained the types and characteristics of burns. Next, Director Kim Seong-ho introduced the first aid method for burns, and Director Lee Hyeong-gyo and Director Na Na-jong introduced the burn treatment method. Lastly, Director Kim Seong-ho talked about how to prevent discoloration of burn wounds.

Burned Hand | Source: Getty Images Bank
What is a burn?
The skin and tissues are damaged by fire, hot water, or chemicals.

Q. What is the difference between first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree burns?

“Hidak Burn Surgery Consultant, Dr. Naeun-jong (Siwon Surgery Clinic)”
The skin consists of the epidermis as the outer layer and the dermis as the inner layer. Burns are classified as 1st, 2nd, or 3rd degree according to the degree of damage to the skin. First-degree burns damage only the outer layer of the epidermis, second-degree burns damage the dermis, and third-degree burns damage the dermis to the fat or muscle layer.

Q. The difference between superficial and deep burns

“Hidak Burn Surgery Consultant, Dr. Naeun-jong (Siwon Surgery Clinic)”
The inner layer of skin, the dermis, contains collagen, which is responsible for most of the skin appendages and skin regeneration. According to the degree of damage to this dermal layer, second-degree burns are divided into ‘superficial second-degree burns’ and ‘deep second-degree burns’.

Superficial second-degree burns have damage to the dermal layer, but are relatively shallow and take 10 to 14 days to heal, and the possibility of scarring is not high. On the other hand, deep second-degree burns are cases where there is a lot of damage to the dermal layer. The treatment period is 3 weeks or more, and there is a possibility of skin transplantation depending on the progress. These wounds are more likely to leave scars after treatment.

Q. How to treat burns before going to the hospital?

“Heidak Emergency Medicine Counselor Kim Seong-ho (Hwain Clinic)”
Applying ice directly to the wound at the beginning should be avoided as it may cause additional skin necrosis. It is recommended to cool the wounded area for about 20 minutes under running water at room temperature. If the wound is exposed to air, the pain will get worse, so it is recommended to wrap the wound with a foam that can absorb the secretions to block the air and take painkillers.

Q. How to treat burns

“Hidak Plastic Surgery Consulting Doctor Lee Hyung-gyo (F5 Refresh Plastic Surgery Clinic)”
The general principles of burn treatment are: For superficial, shallow burns of 2 degrees or less, manage burn wounds for several days with a product that can absorb the exudate that comes out of the peeled skin layer. After that, when the skin starts to regenerate, it is treated by regenerating the epidermis by protecting the skin with a skin regeneration product.

In case of a deep wound of 2nd degree or higher, always clean it first to avoid secondary infection. If the wound is small, it can be managed in a similar way to superficial burns, but may leave scars. However, if the size of the wound is large and the side effects are greater due to natural healing, skin grafting is sometimes used to treat it.

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Q. How to Dress a Burn

“Hidak Burn Surgery Consultant, Dr. Naeun-jong (Siwon Surgery Clinic)”
The general method of a burn specialist hospital is as follows. After wiping the affected area with physiological saline, use an appropriate ointment or treatment according to the depth of the wound. Finally, polyurethane foam or hydrocolloids are used. The reason for using the foam is to prevent the wound from drying out. When the wound dries, the skin does not regenerate. Foam is used to maintain a moist environment so that the skin does not form scabs and the flesh grows.

When dressing at home, after disinfecting, apply ointment and cover with foam. At this time, if there is not much juice, use a thin foam. If there is no pain when disinfecting, you can assume that the wound has healed. After that, avoid direct sunlight exposure and apply moisturizer and sunscreen regularly for good results.

Q. Managing burn scars

“Heidak Emergency Medicine Counselor Kim Seong-ho (Hwain Clinic)”
It is also very important to take care of the scar after the burn has healed. Usually, after about 3 months, the red marks will gradually disappear. However, it is important to keep in mind that irritation such as dryness, UV rays, physical stimulation, or heat while the scar appears red can cause discoloration or cracking.

1. Keep it dry until the redness is gone. It is especially dry after washing, so apply a moisturizer lightly.
2. Block UV rays until the redness is gone. You can cover it with clothes or apply sunscreen.
3. Avoid physical stimulation until the redness is gone. Do not scratch the area. Please refrain from rough work until the redness disappears.
4. Avoid heat stimulation until redness is gone. Avoid exposing your bare skin when standing next to a gas stove for a long time.
5. Apply scar ointment twice a day until the redness disappears.

Help = Hidak Consulting Doctor Naeun-jong (Surgical Burn Surgery Specialist at Siwon Hospital), Hidak Consulting Doctor Kim Seong-ho (Hwain Hospital Emergency Medicine Specialist), Hidak Consulting Doctor Lee Hyung-gyo (F5 Refresh Plastic Surgery Clinic Specialist in Plastic Surgery) )

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