Daily Skin Care (Burns)
University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Dept. of Nursing
Home Care Instructions for Patients
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
Creation Date: March 1992
Last Revision Date: March 1999
- Cleanse bathtub prior to and after your use
- Use a clean towel and washcloth every day
- Wash involved areas with Ivory or Safeguard soap (avoid perfumed soaps as they may cause skin irritation).
- Make sure to wash any build-up from involved areas as excess build-up may result in breakdown of good skin.
- Signs of Infection
- Observe for signs of infection which are 1) swelling, 2) redness, 3) odor, 4) green/yellow drainage, 5) fever, 6) warmness at site of swelling/redness. If these signs are noted, please contact the Burn Unit right away.
- Examine involved areas for the formation of blisters.
1) Open the blisters and allow them to drain.
2) Apply Mycitracin ointment till healed.
- Itching can be a problem. We recommend Benadryl, which can be purchased at any drug store. Take as directed on package.
- It is important to keep all healed areas well lubricated with a lotion. This includes grafted healed burns and donor site areas.
- The lotion will prevent breakdown of skin and will also relieve itching that is caused by dry skin.
- We recommend a nonperfumed, hypoallergenic lotion, such as Lubriderm.
- Exposure to Sun/Cold
- Avoid exposure to extreme hot or cold temperatures (this includes exposure to sun).
- It will be necessary to use a sun-screen when out in the sun, as well as wearing protective clothing, i.e., long-sleeved shirt, cap, and pants.
- A sunblock of #15 or greater is recommended; reapply after swimming.
- Involved areas are more susceptible to frostbite, so wear layered clothing in winter.
- Avoid trauma to involved areas as this skin is very delicate and fragile.
- Nutrition: If you are diabetic, resume your usual diabetic diet.
Eat a well-balanced diet, three meals a day--high in protein and calories, with at least one good source of Vitamin C a day.
IF THE FOLLOWING OCCURS:
- Persistent temperature over 38.0° C or 100° F.
- Signs of infection at incision, graft or donor site.
- Sudden onset of severe, unusual pain, nausea, vomiting.
- Bleeding from incision or graft.
The Burn Treatment Center
University of Iowa
DAY OR NIGHT