Frequently Asked Questions on Burn Dressings

What are the different types of burns?
Burn dressings treat varied types of burns which are:
  • First degree or superficial burns - determined through pain, redness, slight swelling and lack of blistering
  • Second degree burns - involving damage to the underlying skin layers
  • Third degree burns - involving damage to the dermis, surrounding nerves and indicated by waxen skin
  • Fourth degree burns - resulting in severe irreparable damage extending from the skin into the flesh
When are burn dressings used?

Burns dressings can be used to treat only first degree or superficial burns. For second-degree burns and beyond, only wound dressings prescribed by a clinician should be used.

How do you change a burn dressing?
Follow these steps to change a burn dressing:
  • Wash hands
  • Arrange for all supplies required in a hygienic area
  • Remove the old dressing and dispose of it
  • Wash hands again 
  • Wash the wound with mild soap and lukewarm water using a clean washcloth. 
  • Wash the area clean of loose skin and crusting
  • Dry off the wound surface with a clean towel
  • Place ointment dressing on the wound and cover with dry gauze
  • Wrap a sterile gauze roll loosely over the dressing and apply tape over the ends securing it
How often should burn dressings be changed?

It is advised to change the burn dressing at least once a day. However, you may even require changing it twice a day.