Smaller superficial partial thickness facial burns in children can often be managed on an outpatient basis. These burns are usually best managed using an open method. Vaseline® ( a mixture of mineral oils, paraffin and waxes) is a soothing ointment that keeps the burn moist.
Care at home
- Clean the face gently with saline solution or water.
- Apply Vaseline® to the face using a cotton swab, gauze or clean hands. Apply a layer of Vaseline approximately 1/2 cm thick onto the burn.
- Clean the wound to remove crusts and ointment and reapply the Vaseline® at least twice a day..
As the skin heals it will begin to dry out. Once a scab has formed, stop using the Vaseline on that part and apply a moisturiser, such as an unperfumed sorbolene ( a paraffin/glycerine based cream). Shower or bath as normal on the non-burnt skin.
Any burn injury is a dynamic wound, and requires regular review to ensure healing is progressing.
Ensure a plan to review is in place prior to discharge
- A superficial facial burn will take 7 – 10 days to heal depending on how severe and deep the burn is.
- Prolonged healing times are associated with poor scarring outcomes
- If there is any doubt that a burn will be completely healed within 14 days, refer to a burns specialist
- Be aware of potential signs of infection, including increased pain and swelling, fever, apparent increased depth of burn, and surrounding cellulitis.
- Infected burns require swabbing for microscopy and culture, topical antimicrobial, and systemic antibiotics. Patients should be referred to a burns specialist.