Burns

Burns

Burns are classified according to the severity of the injury to the skin and underlying tissues. The three burn categories are first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree burns, with first-degree burns being the most minor. If the first and second layers of skin have been burned, you have a second-degree burn. Second-degree burns can sometimes be considered minor. For both first- and second-degree burns, apply cool running water to the area for at least 10 minutes. This will help reduce swelling. The most serious burns are third-degree burns. Not only are all the layers of skin burnt, but muscle, fat, bone, and other tissues are temporarily or permanently affected. A third-degree burn requires medical attention. Another serious burn that may need treatment is an electrical burn, like from a power cable. These types of burns may cause internal damage, even if the burn does not leave a mark on the skin.

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
    A
    A , Plastic Surgery, answered
    What Happens to Skin When It Is Healing from Sunburn?
    The skin becomes very sensitive and tries to repair after being sunburned. In this video, Alexander Majidian, MD, FACS of the Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital, explains the healing process that your skin undergoes after a sunburn. 
  • 2 Answers
    A
    A , Emergency Medicine, answered
    When we refer to a burn, we typically think of an injury caused by high heat or a flame. Friction -- the force you feel when two surfaces drag against each other (such as a hand holding a rope or knees on carpet) -- can actually cause heat as well, leading to what we call a "friction burn." This usually causes damage to the top layer of skin, leading to redness, not unlike the appearance of a sunburn. More severe friction burns (such as having a rope rapidly pulled through your hands) can cause deeper skin damage, leading to blistering. Friction burns that lead to loss of the top layer of skin or blisters are at risk of infection, so they need to be kept clean and dry.
    See All 2 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Signs of superficial burns:
    • Involves only the top layer of skin
    • Cause skin to become red and dry, usually painful, and the area may swell
    • Usually heals within a week without permanent scarring
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Signs of partial-thickness burns:
    • Involve the top layers of skin
    • Cause skin to become red; usually painful; has blisters that may open and weep clear fluid, making the skin appear wet; may appear mottled; and often swells.
    • Usually heals in three to four weeks and may scar.
  • 3 Answers
    A
    Full-thickness burns may look brown or charred (black), and the tissues underneath may appear white. Additionally, these burns may be painful or painless. If painless, this is because the nerves have been destroyed. (This answer provided for NATA by the Weber State University Athletic Training Education Program.)
    See All 3 Answers
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Arc Figure 7_21
    When caring for chemical burns it is important to remember that the chemical will continue to burn as long as it is on the skin.

    You must remove the chemical from the skin as quickly as possible. To do so, follow these steps:
    • If the burn was caused by dry chemicals, brush off the chemicals using gloved hands or a towel and remove any contaminated clothing before flushing with tap water (under pressure). Be careful not to get the chemical on yourself or on a different area of the person’s skin.
    • Flush the burn with large amounts of cool running water. Continue flushing the burn for at least 20 minutes or until emergency medical service (EMS) personnel take over.
    • If an eye is burned by a chemical, flush the affected eye with water until EMS personnel take over. Tip the head so that the affected eye is lower than the unaffected eye as you flush.

    • If possible, have the person remove contaminated clothes to prevent further contamination while you continue to flush the area.
    Be aware that chemicals can be inhaled, potentially damaging the airway or lungs.

    Arc Figure 7_21
  • 1 Answer
    A
    Arc Figure 7_20A
    A critical burn requires immediate medical attention. These burns are potentially life threatening, disfiguring, and disabling.



    Unfortunately, it often is difficult to tell if a burn is critical. Even superficial burns can be critical if they affect a large area or certain body parts.

    You cannot judge a burn’s severity by the person’s level of pain because nerve endings may be destroyed.

    Arc Figure 7_20A
  • 1 Answer
    A
    A Plastic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    Talk to your treating surgeon or a burn team member as soon as possible. They are trained to guide you in getting support from your family or friends or through the help of a professional, such as a psychologist.
  • 1 Answer
    A

    Burns are caused by high temperature exposure to the body. If the body is touched by something over 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius), a burn occurs. Burns can be the result of numerous materials, including fire, liquids, electrical currents, or chemicals. Even friction can cause burns.

  • 2 Answers
    A
    Burns can cause swelling, blistering, scarring and, in serious cases, shock and even death. They also can lead to infections because they damage your skin's protective barrier.
    See All 2 Answers