Minor Burn Wound FAQs

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This page contains answers to questions which our frequently asked of burn services by clinicians who manage minor burns in the community.

Question 1. Should I let the wound  dry out?

No is the simple answer. There has always been a lot of confusion about this. Various studies have demonstrated over the past decades that a moist would healing environment  accelerates the healing process, and therefore reduces the risk of scarring. The average adult human body is 50-65% water, so human cells will naturally repair and migrate better in a moist environment.

Question 2. what if I’m not sure how deep the burn is?

For the general public, visit your GP or Wound Care Clinic to have the burn assessed by a professional. For expert advice for GPs and the community proverbs, refer to a general or plastic surgeon, or the appropriate burn service. Early appropriate management will ensure the best outcomes following injury. Dont delay.

Q. Should I use/prescribe antibiotics prophylatically after burn injury?

A. No. Scientific evidence is inconclusive regarding the effects of prophylactic antibiotic use in people with burn injuries. In principle, antibiotics should only be given when a known infection is present and according to sensitivities. Systemic antibiotics are not routinely prescribed for patients with uncomplicated minor burn wounds. The use of topical antimicrobial dressings should be considered as an alternative to systemic antibiotics unless there is invasive burn wound infection.

The Alfred Hospital gratefully acknowledges the ongoing support and contribution of Skilled Medical in funding this project.  For more information on Skilled Medical, please visit www.skilledmedical.com
Supported by:

Ambulance Victoria The Alfred Victorian Adult Burn Services at The Alfred The Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne