Burns potentially fatal: Plastic surgeon

SINGAPORE - The little girl suffered burns on 35 per cent of her body and required surgery.

This suggests that she had suffered third-degree burns over a large area, said plastic surgeon Dr J J Chua.

The doctor who runs JJ Chua Rejuvenative Cosmetic and Laser Surgery added that such burns can be potentially fatal.

Dr Chua, who is not involved in treating the girl, said that a burn is considered to have covered a large area if it affects more than 10 per cent of a child's body.

He explained that almost the whole thickness of the skin is affected in a third-degree burn and scars will definitely appear when the skin heals.

Only third-degree burns require surgery, said Dr Chua.

He added: "The skin cannot heal by itself in third-degree burns. The doctor has to cut away the dead skin. He will then perform skin grafts about two weeks or a month later."

Dr Chua said that skin grafts encourage healing and this can take months.

He added that Alya's joints may be affected because of the burns and she may need physiotherapy so that she can move normally again.

"The girl may also feel some itching or tightness to her skin. In this case, the mother can reduce the symptoms by applying moisturiser or sunblock to ease the girl's discomfort," said Dr Chua.

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