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Cosmetic Surgery – An illustrated guide to treatment of burns

Updated on July 16, 2011
Cosmetic surgeons play a vital role in doing cosmetic surgery for burns victims.
Cosmetic surgeons play a vital role in doing cosmetic surgery for burns victims.

This article provides information on all degrees and types of burns, their treatment, prevention, consequences, and role of cosmetic surgery in the overall improvement of appearance, look, beauty of the patient. The severity of the burn injuries depends on the temperature and the medium that caused the burns and amount of time the person has been exposed to the inflammable material. Other factors are the severity of the burns, the extension and depth of the burns, and age and health status of the person.

The treatment given to a burn depends on its depth and its cause, so the treatment for a burn caused to a person getting burns sitting along the beach in afternoon without sunscreen is significantly different to a person getting burn injuries from highly inflammable materials. However, both essentially have something in common and that is the destruction of the soft tissues where the burn has occurred, so the main goal when planning a therapy to treat any type of burn is to restore the lost tissues. For many years, there were some less severe cases in which cosmetic surgeons promoted the regeneration of the natural skin cells avoiding any infection and there were some very severe cases in which the cosmetic surgeons utilized skin grafts where there was no way that the natural skin cells or tissues could be regenerated on their own but now time has changed and science has made a lot of progress and now it is possible to grow cells via the skin grafts for severe burns via cosmetic surgery options. Likewise, with the help of extensive scientific research in this field, cosmetic surgeons now have developed numerous innovative materials like combination of bioreacators (unique cell spraying systems) to grow cells and use of special "wound caps" to help new burn victims. Traditional systems like using sterile bandages on the affected areas to help prevent infection are also there.

An example of first degree burn
An example of first degree burn

Different degrees and types of burns

First-degree burns

First-degree burns involve the outer layer of skin, which is known as epidermis in medical words. These burns usually have a red and swollen appearance. There are no blisters seen with first-degree burns. These burns involve temporary soft tissue damage and usually consist of an increase and then subsequent decrease of skin discoloration. These burns usually heal within 3 to 6 days and leave no permanent marks or scars with the use of scar removal creams after treatment of burns.

How to treat a first-degree burn?

1. Cool the burn under running water for several minutes.

2. Calm the area with a simple burn cream and for sunburns you can use aloe vera sunburn cream.

3. The person can take over-the-counter Tylenol or ibuprofen for these types of burns and can consult a private physician on the dosage and directions on the use of medication.

4. The victim of the burn should look out for blister formation on the burn sites.

5. Spread Bacitracin or Neosporin on the burn sites.

6. If the patient has more concerns or questions about the site of the burn or if there is some suspicion, the patient can consult with his/her family doctor.

Second degree burn reference chart
Second degree burn reference chart
An example of second-degree burn
An example of second-degree burn

Second-degree burns with presentation of blister formation

Second-degree burns are very painful than first-degree burns and the burn areas break into blebs and blister formation with pink or bright red formations. These types of burns involve the uppermost layer of the dermis medically known as papillary dermis and the affected burn areas regrow in a span of 8 to 14 days without scarring with treatment. It is important to note that these types of burns are mostly caused by low-density hot liquids.

Deep Second Degree burns

These burns are severely painful with appearance of pink or red or sometimes gray blisters. These types of burns involve the deep layer of the dermis known as reticular layer of dermis in medical terminology and are generated from the cuts caused by the burns. These types of burns become infected very easily. The affected soft tissue and cells regenerate in a span of 21 days for average patients but sometimes can leave permanent scars due to the deep nature of these burns.

How to treat a second-degree burn?

1. Submerge the burned area in cold water as soon as possible and keep the burned area in cold water for 5 minutes.

2. Treat the area in the same way as the first-degree burns, although your doctor may prescribe Silvadene cream (instead of Bacitracin or Neosporin for first-degree burns).

3. If there is severe blister formation, leave it alone and do not try to break blisters as it can cause infection in other parts of the burn. Apply sterile gauze over the blistered area because the clothing can irritate the site, which can give discomfort to the patient.

4. If the blisters break open on their own, immediately wash with water and apply Silvadene cream or other antibiotics as prescribed by your doctor.

5. Do not touch the burn site with dirty hands.

6. If you see any pus, purulent material, or yellow drainage coming out of the burn areas, consult your doctor immediately as this can be infection.

Third degree burn reference chart
Third degree burn reference chart
An example of third degree burns.
An example of third degree burns.
Third degree burns are highly fatal burn injuries
Third degree burns are highly fatal burn injuries

Third-Degree Burns

Third-degree burns are really dangerous and for that the patient should be taken immediately to any nearest hospital's emergency room. Third degree burns are sometimes life-threatening and need attention of highly qualified specialists and the burn injuries should be treated in a hospital setting. These burns are caused by electrical equipment and fire and involve the deepest layers of the skin and the soft tissues and cells cannot regenerate on their own in the absence of special techniques. It is very much necessary to cover the burn areas with skin grafts.

First Aid for third degree burns

1. Cover the burn lightly with sterile gauze or a clean cotton towel. Do not use any type of irritable materials on the burn.

2. Do not apply ointments or oil because they can cause infection.

3. Take some steps to prevent shock: Lay the patient on the bed and elevate the feet about 12 inches (30 cms).

4. Have the person sit up if face is burned. Observe the patient carefully for any breathing problems he/she may experience.

5. Watching for any signs of shock.

6. Do not place a pillow under the head of a patient having respiratory tract burns, as this can close the path of breathing.

7. As stated above, third-degree burns require immediate medical attention. Do not attempt to treat serious burns unless you are a trained health professional.

What can be done to prevent burns?

1. Observe yourself very closely and stay alert when your are using electrical devices or you are near faulty wires.

2. Install smoke alarms in your home.

3. Keep a fire extinguisher available at home.

4. Set the water heater to 120 F or less.

5. If you work in an area where there is high potential of fires and electric short circuits, teach yourself and your colleagues on what to do in case of fire of any type.

6. If a person is on fire, smother the fire with a blanket.

The pathological condition resulting from a burn

When you make a prompt and timely maintenance, you can significantly decrease the number of problems caused by burns, but the burns that leave permanent marks should be treated by experienced cosmetic surgeons whose purpose is to try to restore the previous look and appearance of burn victims.

In burn cases, the body parts, which deserve special attention, are eyes, eyelids, lips, hands, and genitals.

Improving the pathological condition is very important for the overall emotional and psychological development of the patient. The patient should not feel inferior due to his/her bad appearance and look after the burns. With technological advancement, restoring the previous look and appearance of burn patients is possible.

The plastic surgeons do many types of procedures with use of grafts keeping in mind the problems associated with the look and appearance of the patient.

In my upcoming articles, I will discuss the role of plastic surgeons in improving the overall look, appearance, and beauty of the patient with the use of skin grafts, flaps, and expanders with cosmetic surgery.

Look out... It's my HubMob Hub #7 for Searching for Perfection - Cosmetic and Aesthetic Surgery Options


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    • profile image


      4 years ago provides home-based manufacturing of handmade natural skin care products; these products will make your skin look fresher and younger in just a few days.

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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      woooooow, dat pik is like well scary.... init

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      7 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Yes you are right Scott Thomas. Skin is a very sensitive part of our body and needs to be taken care in an exclusive way.

    • scott33thomas profile image

      Manuel Porras 

      7 years ago from Germany, Colombia, USA, Panama, Mexico, Spain

      I think the skin is most delicate organ of the body and deserves special treatment and care mainly for burns

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      That's really good news but how come a cosmetic surgeon can offer free surgery. It might be possible on a one time basis and not every time. Then, from where he will earn his living if he will keep on doing free surgeries. Might be possible at a govt. hospital but there also there are some charges.

    • profile image

      Mineral Based Cosmetics 

      8 years ago

      Hey soni, you got good article. I remember what I watched few days ago, the victim has 2nd degree burns. A cosmetic surgeon offer a free surgery.

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      8 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks a lot for your review scharlie. Thanks for the link.

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      It's my pleasure that you found this article great.

    • PSChannel profile image


      9 years ago from TX, United States

      Great to know that someone knows cosmetic surgery isn't just about face lifts and breast jobs.

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      But Jonathan why are you copying and pasting content from various websites for commenting in my hubs. You can use your own brains to do that. I think you are doing this for the sole purpose of promoting your site in the link. That's why I am going to delete your comment as your comment will harm my hub in the future.

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks a lot ocbill.

    • ocbill profile image


      9 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I agree this is really good information, prevention tips and a photo I hope to not see live anywhere

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Thanks a lot Warren, Veronica, and Hoop-A-Joo for your motivating comments.

    • Hoop-A-Joo profile image


      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      It is very informative and well detailed description. I had bookmarked in case someone need this type of information, I can just point them to here. You could turn this to how to treat burn.(post on ehow or here on hub so many more people have access to this information) Thank you for nice hub=)

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      9 years ago from Georgia

      Very informative!

    • Waren E profile image

      Waren E 

      9 years ago from HAS LEFT THE BUILDING............

      Those pictures of burns look really painful,

      this hub has been a very informative read for me,

      thanks soni2006!:)

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      Yeah..I got to know that from many people emi. I know fake ones don't work at hubpages because it is a community of very sharp minded hubbers like you. Thanks for the revisit friend.

    • emievil profile image


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Hey what happened to the sexy avatar LOL. Honestly soni I miss your old avatar. You look cuter with your smile =). Too much muscle - too fake for me =).

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      7 hubmobs in 7 days. Yeah that's the perfect thing to do. I will make a hub on that. Thanks for the idea emievil.hahahaha

    • soni2006 profile imageAUTHOR

      Rajinder Soni 

      9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      I am really sad and upset to hear this ralwus. Though it was long time ago but these types of injuries, especially severe burn injuries leave their mark on our bodies for the rest of our lives but with the introduction of new technologies in cosmetic surgery, we can though not delete these events from our mind but can remove those bad and ugly scars from our body.

    • emievil profile image


      9 years ago from Philippines

      Argh, those are nasty burns soni (especially the 3rd-degree one, nearly turned my stomach). Thanks for the tips Soni. You're really on a roll here. 7 hubmobs in 7 days =).

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very good comprehensive hub on this subject. Ahh, I have had some pretty bad burns but no surgery for it thankfully. My old days of working in the oil field were dangerous. My rihgt forearm was burned very bad and it still is troublesome at times from itching. It was burned third degree in 1972.


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