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First Degree Burns

Burns are classified as first-degree burns, second-degree burns and third-degree burns according to their severity. In the case of first-degree burns, only the outer layer of the skin is affected. Swelling, pain and redness is the resulting discomfort caused by this type of burns. Dry heat like fire, wet heat such as steam or boiling liquids, heated objects, sun, chemicals, electricity and friction accidentally become the causes for burns. When hot metals, scalding liquids, flames or steam accidentally gets into contact with one's skin, thermal burns occur. They can also occur due to fire and automobile accidents, electrical malfunctions and space heaters. Unsafe handling of firecrackers and kitchen accidents are some of the other causes for thermal burns. Inhaling smoke, steam, toxic fumes and superheated air in a badly ventilated space can cause burns to the airways.


The severity of the burn is not directly proportional to the degree of pain. The most serious burns often occur with less pain. Blisters occur at the place of the burn. There will be peeling of the skin and it will turn red. Pale and clammy skin, weakness and drop in alertness are often noticed with the shock due to burns. Lips and fingernails may turn blue due to shock. Swelling and white or charred skin also are some of the symptoms. If burns affect the airways, the symptoms may vary from charred mouth, burned lips, wheezing and difficulty in breathing. There may be a change in voice of the patient. A dark, carbon-stained mucus will ooze out from the place of the burn. Sunburn can be classified as a first-degree burn.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: October 16, 2017