Burns - Symptoms, Causes and Prevention

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Summary about Burns

Burns are one of the most common injuries affecting people during household life. Burns are characterized by severe skin damage due to some hazardous chemical, fire or boiling liquid. The skin damage due to burns may cause the affected skin cells to die. The burns may be of following types

  • First degree burns: Red, non-blistered skin
  • Second-degree burns: Blisters and thickening of the skin
  • Third-degree burns: Widespread thickness of the skin with a white, leathery appearance

The treatment method depends on the type of burn. But all burns need proper rehabilitation, medication and surgical procedure to recover. Find the updated list of specialists who deal with burns here.

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Symptoms of Burns

Symptoms of a burn vary according to the type of burn.

First-degree Burn:

  1. Pain 
  2. Redness

Second-degree Burn:

  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • White and red splotchy patches
  • Pain
  • Blisters
  • Scarring

Third-degree Burns:

  • Numbness of affected areas
  • The leathery appearance of the skin
  • White, red, and black areas on the skin

Causes of Burns

A burn can be caused by:

  • Fire
  • Boiling liquids 
  • Hot metals 
  • Radiations
  • Electric current 
  • Sun rays
  • Abuse
  • Chemicals like acids

Risk Factors of Burns

Risk factors for burns include the following:

  • Work conditions that involve fire handling.
  • Placement of young kids in household roles like cooking and childcare.
  • easy access to fire and flammable liquids.
  • Alcohol abuse.
  • Use of kerosene as fire fuel in houses.
  • Gas leakages and inefficient stoves.
  • Placing electrical appliances close to water.
  • Diseases conditions such as epilepsy, cognitive disorders, and peripheral neuropathy.
  • Insufficient safety measures in kitchen and chemical handling.



Preventive Measures of Burns

To prevent common household burns you can take the following measures:

  • Never leave cooking items on the stove unattended.
  • Keep handles of pots away from the front end.
  • Kids and pets should stay away from the kitchen while cooking.
  • Do not put hot pots and pans close to open end of the kitchen counter.
  • Keep hot fluids and water safely away from the reach of children. 
  • Use non-skid shoes and pot holders.
  • Keep fire extinguishers up to date and keep checking these frequently.
  • Install smoke detectors and make sure these are working every now and then.
  • Keep chemicals, lighters, firecrackers, matches and other flammable materials out of reach of children.
  • Never smoke in bed.


Types of Burns

Burns are categorized according to their severity into three types:

First degree Burns: 
These are mild compared to the other two types. In case of a first-degree burn, only the outer layer of skin gets affected. Redness of site affected and pain

Second Degree Burns:

This type of burn is one which involves epidermis and dermis as well. these can cause pain, blistering, and redness of the skin.

Third Degree Burns:

This is the most severe type of burns which penetrates through the dermis and affects underlying tissues. The affected skin can become white, black, and charred. Numbness of affected areas is also experienced.