What are three types of burns?

Pain caused by burns

Pain resulting from burn injuries can be challenging to treat because burns differ in their types and severity. There are three types of burns:

  • First-degree burns are considered mild compared to other burns. They result in pain and reddening of the epidermis (outer layer of the skin).
  • Second-degree burns affect the epidermis and the dermis (lower layer of skin). They cause pain, redness, swelling, and blistering.
  • Third-degree burns go through the dermis and affect deeper tissues. They result in white or blackened, charred skin that might be numb.

What causes burns?

Dry heat (such as fire), wet heat (such as steam or hot liquids), radiation, friction, heated objects, the sun, electricity, and chemicals can cause burns.

Thermal burns are the most common type of burns. These burns occur when flames, hot metals, scalding liquids, or steam come in contact with the skin. These burns can result from many different circumstances including house fires, vehicle accidents, kitchen accidents, and electrical malfunctions.

What are the symptoms of burns?

  • Blisters
  • Pain — The degree of pain is not related to the severity of the burn as the most serious burns can be painless
  • Peeling skin
  • Red skin
  • Shock — Symptoms of shock include pale and clammy skin, weakness, bluish lips and fingernails, and a drop in alertness
  • Swelling
  • White or charred skin
  • Heart rhythm disturbances following electrical injury