A Concise Article on Burn Bandages
Burns are known to be one of the most painful injuries a person could have, and in this article I will talk about the bandages used for a burn.
What is a burn bandage material?
Short Answer: burn bandage material is generally a fine mesh gauze that’s used to cover the burn wound
- The bandage will protect the wound and reduce the chances of any infection occurring
- Applying a topical cream should be avoided as this will interfere with the wound
- There are many different materials used, such as kling dressings, flexnet dressings and kerlix dressings to name a few
- It will be comfortable and breathable, to important factors in a burn bandage
Description of Burn Bandages
Burn bandages are available in a variety of makes, and different shapes and sizes, too.
One of the main purposes of burn bandages is to make sure that the injury heals, but this will depend on the severity of the burn.
A few out the many types of bandages used to bandage a burn injury are:
- Kerlix dressings
- Elastic wrap dressings
- Exu Dry dressing
These bandages/dressings are primarily used for burns and a cover for other surgical wounds as well.
It can be used as a secondary dressing, too - to avoid bacterial growth and penetration from happening to the injury.
There are other types of Kerlix dressings available that include:
- Kerlix bandage rolls
- Kerlix gauze sponges
- Kerlix super sponges
- Kerlix AMD super sponges
- Kerlix laparotomy sponges
Let’s take a look at the benefits of using these dressings:
- Reduces and prevents risk of infections from spreading
- Easy to wrap bandage around difficult areas
- Excellent absorbency and fast healing process
- Lesser chance of bandage edges fraying
Reduces and prevents risk of infection from spreading
Infections are very common in any type of wound, and burns are no exception.
Kerlix dressings help to reduce and prevent risk of infections, and to make sure that it does not spread.
Easy to wrap bandage around difficult areas
There are certain areas a bandage is difficult to wrap around, but this is not the case with Kerlix bandages.
The rolls are considerably easier to wrap around, compared to other bandages that are used for burn management.
Excellent absorbency and fast healing process
Kerlix bandages are known to have excellent absorbency, one of the reasons it is used especially for burn injuries.
The kerlix roll and the bandage both are equally absorbent, and are very effective In speeding up the healing process of the injured person’s burn wound.
Lesser chance of bandage edges fraying
Since the kerlix bandage gauze has a better finish at the edges than other bandages, there is a lesser chance of the edges fraying.
Elastic wrap dressings
Having many uses and benefits, the elastic wrap dressing is specifically designed to be a stretchy bandage that can be wrapped around any body part.
They are also known as ‘Ace’ bandages, too a more common name than elastic wrap.
They provide mild compression for burn injuries, and are flexible in a way that it is comfortable to wear as well.
Like any other bandage it should not be wrapped around too tightly, but firmly so that it stays in place.
Exu Dry dressings
A multilayer, non-adherent and absorbent dressing, the exu dry dressing is unique and is used to manage a range of injuries that are exuding.
Since it is non-adherent it is easier when using because the application of it will be more bearable and less painful.
Aside from being used for burn injuries, the exu dry dressings help with:
- Pressure ulcers
- Exuding wounds
- Skin grafts
- Fungating wounds
Let us now take a look at a few of the advantages when using exu dry dressings:
- Anti sheer and absorbent
- Multi layer
- Available in many sizes to accommodate any wound
- Reduces risk of irritation
- Comfortable for any patient
What material is it made of?
Burn bandage material depends on the type of bandage that is used, and what it is specifically designed for.
Traditional dressings are made out of paraffin, gauze, and silicone tablets. These are for daily care of burns.
Stronger dressings are antibacterial and contain silver that help with fighting against infections.
Others widely used are made out of hydrogel, hydrocolloid, synthetic, alginate dressings, and polyurethane films.
In most instances, a simple gauze dressing is the answer to mild burn injuries, but when it comes to more severe injuries such as first or second degrees bandage materials will change and treatment will differ.
Why should burn bandages be wrapped in gauze?
This is a necessary step when bandaging a burn, because this will:
- Hold the dressing in place.
- Protect the burn from further harm or infection that is likely to happen if not covered properly.
- Prevent the person from feeling any more pain.
When wrapping the bandage in gauze it should not be done too tightly, as this will cause a long list of problems with the blood flow of the person.
The safer the burn injury is, the more likely it is to heal healthily and faster - but this will not change the fact that it will take a certain period of time to do so.
For how long should burn bandages be used?
As I mentioned earlier in the article, this will depend on the burn injury - injuries will range from mild to very severe.
It will also depend on the healing process of the injury, it could be progressing slowly or quickly - there’s no in between.
Any dressing should be left for around 5 to 7 days, unless there is more pain and a smell - then it will have to be checked and changed.
It will be significantly painful when removing the bandage, as it will get stuck/pasted to the wound.
Some dressings are applied in a way that it will be changed frequently, and other dressings are intended to be kept for a period of time.
We stock the Survival Burn Module, that’s great to have at workplaces that are high risk or even at home in case of emergency, you can find out more here.
What are the types of burn injuries?
Accidental burns are a common injury that happen, and are very painful to deal with.
Burn injuries have been classified by the degree of severity, which include:
- First Degree Burns
- Second Degree Burns
- Third Degree Burns
Let’s take a look at them in detail now.
First Degree Burns
This type of burn is quite mild and manageable, as the skin does not blister but will still be painful.
Only the top layer of skin is affected, that layer is called epidermis.
With first degree burns the symptoms include:
They are a very common occurrence at households, either with kitchen appliances or coming into contact with hot liquids.
First degree burns don’t break the skin, and the area of the skin involved could either be small or large.
The best way to identify a first degree burn is the color change in the skin.
Second Degree Burns
Burns that go through the epidermis and reach the second layer of skin are considered second degree burns.
The symptoms of second degree burns include the following:
- Broken skin
- Splotchy skin
It can take a day or two for the skin to develop more severe burns, such as oozing skin and increased pain.
In comparison to first degree burns, second degree burns are a level more serious since the second layer of skin is damaged.
Widespread burns that are deep and getting worse by the second could be a sign that third degree burns are evident.
Third Degree Burns
One of the most severe burns that could even become life-threatening, third degree burns are when the fat layer of the skin has been reached.
The skin color could range from brown, black or even white in some cases.
Let’s take a look at a few of the symptoms of third degree burns:
- Leathery skin
- Skin discolouration
- Dry skin
Causes of a third degree burn are the following:
Hair follicles and sweat glands are also known to be destroyed, along with nerve endings as well.
The longer your body interacts with the cause of the burn, the more damage you will have in the long term.
Third degree burns that have affected large areas of the body could take a couple of years to fully heal, but it will depend on the size and the location of the burn, too.
When is emergency care needed for a burn?
In the event that it is a third degree burn, as that is the most serious and life-threatening burn of all.
Third degree burns require immediate medical care, and home care should not be attempted.
Burns that don’t heal or improve even after two weeks also require medical attention.
Other instances where emergency care is needed for a burn:
- Severe pain
In this article I covered the list of bandages needed for a burn injury. You now know what you will need in case of an emergency.