A blister is described as a raised portion of the skin that is filled with fluid. A burn blister is classified as a second-degree burn. It appears as a clear, very painful and a weeping blister. The skin with burn blisters appears red or has variable patchy discoloration.
Burn blisters are considered serious as the damage extends or goes beyond the top layer of the skin. This type of burn not only blisters the skin but also makes it sore and red. Sometimes the blisters may pop open thus giving the burn a weeping or wet appearance.
Overtime when burn blister is healing, soft, thick, scab-like tissue called fibrinous exudate may develop over the wound. The wound area should be kept clean and bandaged properly to avoid infection and to help the burn heal quickly. Most burn blisters take about two to three weeks to heal but some take longer than that. In severe cases, burn blisters are treated with skin grafting surgery that restores the skin back to normal.
What is Skin Grafting Surgery?
Skin grafting is a surgical procedure that involves the removal of skin from one area of the body and transplanting or moving it to a different area of the body. The procedure is usually done when a part of the body has lost its protective covering of skin due to injury, burns or illness.
Types of Skin Grafts
There are two types of skin grafts; split-thickness grafts and full-thickness graft.
- Split-thickness grafts. This type of graft involves removing the top layer of the skin which is the epidermis and a small portion of the deeper skin layer which is the dermis. They are usually harvested from an area where the skin is healthy known as the donor site. The donor site is usually the front or outer thigh, buttocks, abdomen or back. These types of grafts are used to cover large areas and they have a smooth or shiny appearance. However, split-thickness grafts do not grow as readily as ungrafted skin. Thus additional grafts might be needed in the future.
- Full-thickness grafts. This type of graft involves the removal of all the epidermis and dermis from the donor site. The donor sites are usually the groin, abdomen, forearm or the area above the collarbone. The pieces of skin tend to be smaller in size as they are generally used for small wounds on visible body parts such as the face. Full-thickness grafts tend to blend in well with the surrounding skin and have a better cosmetic outcome.
Skin grafting surgery is normally performed under general anaesthesia. Hence, the patient will be asleep throughout the procedure and will not feel any pain.
Aftercare for Skin Grafting
After the procedure, your doctor might ask you to stay in the hospital for a few days to monitor if the skin graft and the donor site are healing well. After 36 hours, blood vessels should start developing on the graft while connecting to the skin around it. If this does not happen it means that the body is rejecting the graft. This may happen due to several reasons such as blood or fluid accumulation under the graft, infection or too much movement of the graft on the wound. You may be required to undergo another surgery with new skin grafts if the body rejects the first ones.
Painkillers are prescribed to help minimize the pain and you are instructed on how to take care of the graft site and donor site to avoid infection. The donor site heals within one to two weeks but the graft site takes a little bit longer to heal. You will be instructed on which activities to avoid until you are healed.
In short, skin grafting surgery can be used to treat burn blisters. It is an effective way to restore the skin that gets damaged after burning. You can also get rid of weeping blisters permanently by opting for skin grafting techniques. However, only an expert can decide the type of skin grafts to be used during the treatment. Dubai Cosmetic Surgery® is offering the best burn reconstructive surgery. You can avail of free consultation by filling out our form to learn more about the treatment.