Burn wound dressings can be complemented by surprising side treatments.
Burn wounds can become easily infected – with many layers of the outer tissues left without any protective measure, opportune bacteria and viruses that can easily encroach on the area. However, in addition to covering the burn with the appropriate wound dressings and coverings, patients can complement their burn wound care efforts in other ways.
While having a masseuse touch your skin after suffering from a burn may seem like the last thing you’d need, massage therapy can actually help with some of the discomfort that comes from a healing wound. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, healing burns can cause a great deal of pain and itchiness that can lead to emotional anxiety or depression, especially if a large portion of your body or multiple areas have been affected by the burn. By getting a massage, many people will feel more relaxed overall, and some even felt less itchiness or pain.
Massage helps to increase blood flow to the burn area and throughout the body as well, so it may help the burn heal more quickly. However, for this type of treatment, it is best to speak with your clinician before heading to the massage therapist, since certain burns will behave adversely.
Many people don’t realize that when they have a severe burn, a lot of fluid is lost through the skin, which can lead to a more dehydrated state. Dehydration can make all body systems work less optimally – the cardiovascular system cannot transport blood throughout the body as quickly and organs have to process toxins and nutrients at a slower rate. Individuals who suffer burns will experience dehydration as a side effect. If the dehydration is severe enough, it can lead to shock.
While some doctors may prescribe intravenous fluids following a burn, patients can also help their body become more hydrated through a variety of ways :
- Drink more water. This is the most basic way to increase the amount of fluids in your system. If the taste of plain water is literally hard to swallow, try adding a bit of lemon or drink sparkling water for a bit of carbonation. Adding a small amount of fruit juice to water can also make it easier to drink in larger quantities following a burn.
- Eat fruits and veggies that have high water content. In addition to providing a number of nutrients that help your system mend itself, some fruits and vegetables have very high water contents, which can help you retain fluids while also giving you a break from the water bottle. A few great choices are:
- Watermelon. This pink fruit is about 92 percent water, according to the University of Kentucky.
- Grapefruit. Filled with vitamin C, this citrus fruit can be about 91 percent water.
- Celery. This green veggie is easy to snack on and is about 95 percent water.
- Cucumbers. This crisp fruit is filled with water – they are about 96 percent – and are another easy veggie to munch on.
- Avoid alcohol. Although experts still disagree as to whether the diuretic effects of tea and coffee outweigh their hydration properties, almost all experts agree that alcohol can exacerbate dehydration in your body. Avoid drinking alcohol while you are healing from a severe burn, or always follow-up an alcoholic beverage with water.
Advanced Tissue is the nation’s leader in delivering specialized wound care supplies to patients, delivering to both homes and long-term care facilities.