Burns are usually treated with cleansing, the use of topical ointments to prevent bacterial growth in the damaged tissue and to keep the tissues moisturized. Silvadene (a white colored, silver-based ointment) is the most common topical used. If people are neutropenic, silver nitrate is used instead. Areas with cartilage (ears, nose, etc) are treated with Sulfa-based ointments.
Rehabilitation therapists see burned people early in their recovery and continue treatment through the second year of recovery from the injury (through the scar formation and maturation process).
Early treatment focuses on mobilization (maintaining range of motion and general physical mobility) as well as adapting the way people do their daily activities that have been interrupted by the burn. For example, when your hands are burned, it is difficult to wipe your bottom or to feed yourself, and to do many other tasks throughout the day.
Information courtesy of Ann Burkhardt, OTR/L,
a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association