Cigarette burn

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 11.04.2020

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According to doctors, despite the minimal skin lesion area, burns from cigarettes can not be ignored: such a burn can be deep enough, resulting in the formation of scars.

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Causes of the burn from cigarettes

As a rule, the causes of burns from cigarettes are associated with accidental contact of any part of the skin with a burning cigarette. If most of the solid materials tend to ignite at a temperature of + 300 ° C, then at + 700 ° C - the temperature at the lit cigarette end - human skin can not resist, and the burn is imminent.

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Risk factors

And the main risk factors for getting a cigarette burn is the very process of smoking (especially if the smoker is drunk). Although in order to get burns from cigarettes, you do not have to be a smoker: it's enough to stay next to people who smoke. Even passing by a person with a lit cigarette in their hands, no one is immune from someone else's or their own recklessness, and any movement can lead to contact with the burning end of the cigarette. So you can get a burn from a cigarette on your face, on your hands and practically on any open part of your body.

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As with all contact thermal burns, the pathogenesis of burns from cigarettes lies in the fact that skin proteins (keratins, collagen, etc.) under the influence of high temperature are denatured, and for complete destruction of proteinaceous molecules of the skin, 100 degrees is sufficient.

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Symptoms of the burn from cigarettes

The very first signs of a burn from a cigarette are severe pain and redness of the skin. Find out here - What to do with a burn, and also - How to treat a burn on the skin

The depth of skin damage depends on the remaining symptoms of burns from cigarettes.

If only the horny (upper) layer of the epidermis is affected, then this is the lightest burn - I degree. In addition to pain and hyperemia, the skin becomes swollen with such a burn, and hyperemia turns into erythema, that is, redness, which indicates inflammation of the skin.

Burns from cigarettes of the second degree are deeper, with lower layers of the epidermis located beneath them - shiny, granular, prickly. Such a burn leads to peeling of the upper epidermal layers and the formation of a bladder that is filled with a yellowish serous fluid. The skin inside the bladder is red.

Even deeper layers of the skin (malpighia and papillary) are damaged in a third degree burn, which is also accompanied by the formation of a blister, but the skin inside it is pinkish or whitish. The burned place may lose its sensitivity.

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At the exudation stage, piercing the blister is not recommended, since it acts as a barrier that protects the skin from microbes and helps tissue regeneration. After the perforation of the blister, a dry scab forms on the damaged site, and beneath it - at the healing stage of the burn - the skin is regenerated by epithelialization.

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Complications and consequences

Consequences and complications include the formation of a scar on the site of a burn of grade II and III, as well as possible suppuration of the burn surface and secondary necrosis of skin tissues due to the inflammatory process with secondary staphylococcal infection of the burn wound. In rare cases, even the development of toxic epidermal necrolysis and sepsis is possible. Therefore, we must not allow burns from cigarettes to catch up with the liberation of the offensive necrotic masses from the wound.

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Diagnostics of the burn from cigarettes

Getting a cigarette burn is rarely led to a doctor: usually the injured are treated by the injured themselves. And the diagnosis of burns from cigarettes, in fact, is to determine their degree (as mentioned above).

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Treatment of the burn from cigarettes

Effective topical agents used to treat burns from cigarettes are preparations based on the derivative of pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) - dexpanthenol: ointments and creams D Panthenol, Pantoderm, Korneregel; aerosol means Pantenol and Pantesol.

When a burn is infected, the anti-inflammatory drugs recommended by doctors include Levomecol ointments (based on the chloramphenicol antibiotic and methyluracil); Levosin (chloramphenicol + sulfadimethoxin + methyluracil + trimecaine) - with analgesic effect; streptotsidovuyu ointment, emulsion Streptonitol (streptotsid + nitazol); Sulfamylon hydrochloride ointment (Mafenide), Dioxysol.

Ointments can be applied directly to the burn (two or three times a day) or soaked in a sterile bandage and make a bandage.

To speed up the healing and avoid complications, such agents as Methyluracil Ointment or Sulfamecol (Dioxydin + methyluracil + trimecaine) will help. You should use ointments not on fat basis, but on polyethylene oxide. More information - in the article Ointment from burns

From what offers alternative treatment, it is most advisable to use the juice from the leaves of aloe and the aqueous solution of propolis - to lubricate the burn (two to three times a day) and moist dressings that promote the regeneration of skin tissues and prevent the appearance of pigmented spots or scars on it.


The best prevention of burns from cigarettes is to quit smoking and be careful when someone has a lighted cigarette in their hands ...

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In cases of burn, even III degree, the prognosis is favorable, provided that the burns from cigarettes are correctly treated and do not pass into a purulent inflammation.

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