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Types Of Burns And Their Treatment

Updated on October 22, 2011

Burns are physical injuries that are occurred when the human skin comes in contact with heat, radiation, electricity or certain chemicals. Burns are extremely dangerous and excruciatingly painful, even a minor burn can be extremely painful.

They can cause a severe damage to the skin and in some cases also to some internal organs of the body. They form permanent or temporary marks on the skin and involve the damage of the layers of skin.

Basically burns are caused by any hot object or a chemical. Usually the most common agent causing burns is the fire. Other agents are hot liquids, electricity and chemicals.

Burns are of four types and are classified according to the degree at which they destroy the human skin and their causes. The treatment of each type of burns is different from others.

Below are the different types of burns and their treatment:

A first degree burn.
A first degree burn.

First Degree Burns

The first degree burns are the minor burns which only damage the uppermost layer of the skin, the epidermis. They produce pinkish to red color marks on the skin and their symptoms include a mild swelling, tenderness of skin and of course pain. They are caused by the brief contact of skin with steam, any hot liquid or flame.

Although the first degree burns are minor burns, they should be taken care of. They heal by themselves within a period of some days. As soon as the skin gets burned it should be put in cold water. It is better not to apply any ointment on these burns as they heal by themselves. But if they are a bit more serious and cause more swelling than a mild ointment can be applied.

Second degree burn.
Second degree burn.

Second Degree Burns

The second degree burns are more severe than the first degree burns and involve the damage of not only the epidermis of the skin but also the second layer of the skin known as the dermis.

They produce blisters and red marks on the skin. They cause scars and swelling of the skin and are very painful.

They are caused when the skin is exposed to hot liquids and flames. They require a proper treatment.

As soon as the skin is burnt it should be immediately treated with cold water then an ointment must be applied.

If the burns are serious then a doctor must be consulted. It is important to take these burns seriously and should not be exposed to water much.

A Third Degree Burn.
A Third Degree Burn.

If left untreated they can become serious wounds causing a severe damage to the skin.

In most cases the burnt wounds get rotten from the inside and they may become site of serious fungal attack.

Therefore it is very important to treat these burns at the right time.

Third Degree Burns

The third degree burns are the most dangerous type of burns.

Not only do they destroy the epidermis and the dermis but they completely destroy and damage the entire skin also reaching into the internal parts of the body. They leave the skin blackened or white. They destroy and deform the bones.

In most cases they are not even painful as they also destroy the pain receptors of the skin along with a lot of other things.

They leave behind permanent marks which can only be removed by plastic surgery.

These burns are caused flames or extremely hot liquids specifically hot boiling acids.

The person who gets injured must be immediately taken to a hospital because there is no such thing as first aid when it comes to the third degree burns.

A second Degree Chemical burn, caused by silver nitrate.
A second Degree Chemical burn, caused by silver nitrate.

Chemical Burns

Chemical burns are the burns that are caused by certain chemicals. The most important agents causing the chemical burns are hot boiling acids.

Other agents involve some certain disinfectants and drain cleaners containing acids. They too require proper medication and attention.

Unlike burns caused by a flame, the burns that are caused by chemicals penetrate deep into the skin and can cause more serious wounds with blisters and rashes.

These wounds are deep and usually oral medications are also taken to avoid internal blisters.

Whatever the type maybe, burns are a very dangerous form of physical injuries, they are very painful and the wounds caused by burns take time to heal and are very different from other types of wounds.

Degree Of Burns Affecting Skin And Tissue


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    • profile image

      Elem Lewechi N 

      7 years ago

      Good work; thanks a lot. It has given me version of knowledge that chemical burns are more dangerous than flame burns.Thereby require special considerations and treatment.

    • profile image

      rohan parikh 

      7 years ago

      not useful at all

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      good to have such helpful sites......

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Thanks for your useful notes

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      can understand things about the burns and their degrees. Even it is helpful for ordinary people to understand the theory of burns

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wow....its a nice useful video

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      First degree burn hurts a lot how often is the second degree? I suffer from first degree burn. It almost makes me cry. By the way thanks for sharing this wonderful hub, now i know how to deal with it.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      the hub is really usefull i passed my exams thanks to the hub i don't need to have a book all i do is sit on my computer and let the hub teach me.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Great,Awesome hub very useful.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      it is uesful for my school work

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      wow thanks hub for this informative article

    • nikitha p profile image

      nikitha p 

      9 years ago from India

      Thanks for a useful hub.

    • agusfanani profile image


      9 years ago from Indonesia

      A nice, useful article !

    • H P Roychoudhury profile image

      H P Roychoudhury 

      9 years ago from Guwahati, India

      THe hub contains useful information.


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