Face burns can cause serious complications and require specialized treatment. Just like with the feet, hands and genitals, the skin on the face is highly sensitive and constantly exposed to the elements. Proper care and treatment of these body parts that were exposed and utilized on a daily basis plays a vital role in the recovery process.
The immediate treatment of face burns can help minimize the severity of the burn. Prompt care to the burn, even before the arrival of the emergency team can help prevent permanent deformity and scarring. Remember that all burns on the face must be taken seriously and immediately covered with a towel or cloth soaked in cool water.
Considerations to bear in mind
In case an individual inhales excessive amounts of smoke after sustaining a face burn, those who are at the scene must assess for a pulse and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) if breathing is absent.
After the application of cool compresses and if help has not yet arrived, you have to raise the head of the individual to prevent blood from rushing to the face. The victim should be kept awake and talking to prevent going into a state of shock.
There are several myths that must be avoided when managing an individual with a face burn. Do not use butter, ointment, ice or any other household oils on the face burn. Avoid blowing on the burn site in an attempt to cool it off, apply ice or immerse the face in water. All of these will only worsen the burn. Remember that nothing should be given by mouth.
It is important to note that burns do not always entail prompt immediate treatment and might not show any indications of a severe injury for several hours. One of the evident signs of a severe burn is a development of a blister that often takes up to 48 hours to manifest. The affected skin becomes a bump filled with fluid and tender to the touch. Take note that blisters should not be popped open. Only a doctor can properly manage one.
Always bear in mind that the face has a high capacity for healing due to the abundant blood vessels that flow to the area. The potential for full recovery without scarring is good as long as proper care is taken in order to maintain a clean, infection-free skin surface. The swelling should reduce within 48 hours when the individual can start mild cleansing 3 times a day followed by treatment with sulfamylon ointment. After cleansing, the individual should check the burn for indications of a possible infection such as pus drainage, bad odor, fever and redness around the burn site. If any of the signs of infection are present, it is best to seek immediate medical care.