Cutaneous burns

Last reviewed: 7 Jun 2022
Last updated: 16 Aug 2018

Summary

Definition

History and exam

Key diagnostic factors

  • presence of risk factors
  • erythema
  • dry and painful burns
  • wet and painful burns
  • dry and insensate burns
  • burns affecting subcutaneous tissue, tendon, or bone
  • cellulitis
  • clouded cornea
More key diagnostic factors

Risk factors

  • young children
  • age >60 years
  • male sex
More risk factors

Diagnostic investigations

1st investigations to order

  • full blood count
  • metabolic panel
  • carboxyhaemoglobin
  • arterial blood gas
  • fluorescein staining
  • computed tomography scan of head and spine
  • wound biopsy culture
  • wound histology
More 1st investigations to order

Treatment algorithm

ACUTE

suitable for outpatient care

requires inpatient care

Contributors

Authors

Rob Sheridan, MD

Associate Professor of Surgery

Harvard Medical School

Cambridge

MA

Disclosures

RS is an author of a number of references cited in this topic.

Peer reviewers

Ravi Ubriani, MD, FAAD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Dermatology

Columbia University

New York

NY

Disclosures

RU declares that he has no competing interests.

Chris Tedeschi, MD

Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine

Department of Emergency Medicine

New York-Presbyterian Hospital

New York

NY

Disclosures

CT declares that he has no competing interests.

Chad M. Hivnor, Major, USAF, MC, FS

Chief

Outpatient & Pediatric Dermatology

59th Medical Wing/ SGOMD

Lackland Air Force Base

San Antonio

TX

Disclosures

CMH declares that he has no competing interests.

Dean D. Ad-El, MD

Chairman, Department of Plastic Surgery and Burn Unit

Rabin Medical Center - Beilinson Hospital

Sackler Faculty of Medicine

Tel-Aviv University

Director of Plastic Surgery Services

Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel

Petach Tikvah

Israel

Disclosures

DDAE participated as one of the moderators in a course in IMCAS, Paris in January 2009.

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  • Guidelines

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  • Patient leaflets

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