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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Getting help for burns

FDP patient in hospital Your GP and nurse can provide care for most burns.

More severe burns will receive specialist care at hospital. This may include special dressings and, if needed, one or more operations. These are usually done by a plastic surgeon.

There are two main types of procedures – debridement and skin grafting.

Debridement is when dead or damaged tissue is removed.

Skin grafts are used in most third and some second degree burns to improve and speed up healing. They can also be used when skin around a scar is too tight (contracture) or to make the wound look better.

Scar Management Specialist Service

Burn scars can cause problems by restricting movement, and can be disfiguring. An occupational therapist (OT) who specialises in scar management is available through the Christchurch Hospital Plastic Surgery Unit to help you with these issues and minimise any effects of scarring.

Coping and emotional recovery

Burns can have a major emotional impact, for you and your caregiver or parent. Talk to any of the team caring for you or your relative and do ask if you would like extra support. There are some specialist services you can be referred to. Support groups can help too.

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Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed May 2021.


See also:

Self-care for burns

Page reference: 101211

Review key: HIBUR-30143