Burns may be caused by many means; from thermal energy such as the sun or a heat source, to chemical processes, or even electrical exposure.
We characterize the seriousness of a burn by the degree of its depth in skin tissue and the severity of the injury.
A second-degree burn involves deeper tissue damage. It may be caused by exposure to very hot surfaces, or by scalding from hot liquids or steam. A splotchy, red and white appearance, and the appearance of blisters often characterize second-degree burns. Because of the significant pain and fluid loss, shock is also a consideration.
A third-degree burn involves charring of the skin tissue. In most cases, third-degree burns will destroy the skin tissue as well as the nerve roots beneath the skin. This may cause a loss of sensation in the burned area. Be very careful not to further contaminate a burned area, as the skin is no longer functioning as an adequate barrier against infection.