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icon Types of Burns

Burns will most likely be a common injury sustained by pole shift survivors. Burns break the skin which makes the body susceptible can infection, dehydration and loss of temperature control. Burns can also harm the respiratory system and the eyes. Severity of burns depends on: temperature of the burn source; length of exposure to the source; location of the burn; extent of the burn; victim’s age and medical condition (i.e., elderly people have thinner skin and young children have very delicate skin). Burns are typed by their source (heat, chemicals, electricity of radiation) and depth (superficial -= first degree; deep = second and third degree). The deeper the burn, the more severe it is.

Superficial Burns
Superficial burns involve only the top layer of the skin. The skin becomes red and dry and is usually painful. There may be some swelling. An example of a superficial (first degree) burn is the typical sunburn. First degree burns usually heal by themselves in 5 - 6 days without permanent scarring. Treatment for these burns is to first immediately cool the area with cool water or cool wet compresses. Then clean the area as best as you can. If available, apply an antibiotic ointment and watch for signs of infection.
Deep Burns
These burns also appear red and may have blisters that may break open, weeping clear fluid which makes the skin look wet. These burns are painful and there is often swelling. These burns may heal in 3 or 4 weeks and scarring may occur. A very deep burn may destroy not only all skin layers, but may destroy underlying fat, muscles, bones and nerves. These burns appear brown or black (charred) with underlying tissues appearing white. They can be either very painful or painless if the burn destroyed the nerve endings. Needless to say these burns are life threatening because the body loses fluid and shock is likely to occur. There is also increased risk of infection.

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