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How to care for your child's healing skin after a burn / Soigner une brûlure en voie de guérison



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Even as experts, when we look at burn wounds,

we're wrong 30% of the time, in the first 24-48 hours,

of the depth of those injuries.

So we suggest that any parent that's looking

at a burn wound that's taking too long to heal,

they should get medical attention.

And what we mean by too long

is any wound that is taking longer than 10 days

to two weeks to heal,

that requires a referral,

because often there can be more damage,

or there's a higher chance of scarring.

In a minor burn,

a couple signs to look for to ensure that the burn

is actually healed,

is that the surface of the skin will look dryer.

If it's still an open wound, still with the skin healing,

it might look a little bit shiny, a little bit wet,

but once that wound heals,

as wounds do heal from the outside in,

and the wound will get smaller and smaller,

it'll have maybe a dry flaky appearance

as newly-healed skin can be sensitive,

and actually dryer than the rest of your skin.

It will still have a red appearance,

and the change in color might actually

remain for about a year post-injury.

But this red color will fade.

But in the meantime,

you can keep that area well-moisturized--

some children will actually say that they're itchy

in that area that's newly healed,

and the best thing to do is just moisturize it

twice a day, and you can even do it three times a day,

if your child states that they're still itchy with twice a day.

And, the ten day to two week rule,

it applies to wounds of small sizes,

so even small areas that are not healing--

they can be in some difficult, specialized areas

such as the hands and the feet,

as I've mentioned before,

those are the ones that we really want to make sure

are appropriately referred in an appropriate time.

It's very important to avoid direct sun exposure

as this can change the colour of the skin.

Newly-healed burns, they will appear red,

and this redness will fade over time.

During that time period,

which can last up to a year post-burn-injury,

it's very important to protect that skin.

If it's skin on the face,

it's important to wear a wide-brim sun hat,

and re-apply SPF of 30-50 fairly frequently.

We do encourage parents to take their children out,

bring them to the park, bring them to the pool,

but just keep them covered

and in some sun protective clothing, bathing suits

with long sleeves if they did sustain a burn on their arm.

And if it is an area where they can't

have it covered such as their hands,

just re-apply sunscreen frequently,

maybe every one to two hours.

And we highly encourage them to go swimming,

in saltwater and chlorinated pools,

it's just very important to rinse them off

once they come out of the water,

as this can contribute to the dryness of their skin,

and re-apply an SPF so to re-moisturize their skin

once they're out.

We know that the outcome from a burn injury

can be permanent in terms of scarring

and a continuous reminder,

that it is not based on the size of the injury.

So even relatively small injuries

under bad circumstances

can be a permanent reminder and have permanent effects.

And the contrary part is that even larger injuries,

which can be accidental and can happen,

that the outcome you'd assume with a larger injury would be worse,

but it's not true in this area.

Which is why when we talk about minor burn injuries,

we're very careful to say--

the word "minor" implies that it doesn't require a lot

of treatment, when in fact we know that even small,

relatively deep burns,

such as, say, the entire palm of my hand,

of a child that's touched a glass-fronted fireplace,

will be the reminder of the presence of a burn injury

for a long time.