Apart from very minor burns, people with burns to the face should be referred to a burns service for further management. Significant facial burns are often associated with inhalation injury.Care of the patient with a facial burn requires meticulous attention to basic principles of wound care in order to ensure optimal healing and outcomes.
Epidermal Facial Burn
Epidermal facial burns are commonly the result of severe sunburn and also flash burns caused by various explosions. They may be painful and associated with some oedema. They are generally best managed with regular cleansing and moisturizer. The possibility of ocular damage must be considered, and the eyes examined for possible corneal damage. Epidermal facial burns will heal with no scarring.
Superficial Partial Thickness Dermal Facial Burn
Superficial dermal facial burns are commonly associated with injuries caused by flash burns from explosions of gas or petrol vapour, or electrical switchboards. They are characterised by the production of large amounts of exudate in the first 24 – 48 hours post injury. All efforts should be made to reduce oedema. The patient should sit up as much as possible and for as long as possible. The possibility of ocular damage must be considered, and the eyes examined for possible corneal damage.
Superficial facial burns are treated using the open method. Facial wound care protocols may employ antimicrobial agents to minimize bacterial proliferation and fungal colonisation as well as creams that provide a moist wound healing environment.