A burn is damage to your body's tissues caused by heat, chemicals, electricity, sunlight or radiation. Scalds from hot liquids and steam, building fires and flammable liquids and gases are the most common causes of burns.
There are three types of burns:
Burns can cause swelling, blistering, scarring and, in serious cases, shock and even death. They also can lead to infections because they damage your skin's protective barrier. Antibiotic creams can prevent or treat infections. After a third-degree burn, you need skin or synthetic grafts to cover exposed tissue and encourage new skin to grow. First- and second-degree burns usually heal without grafts.
National Institute of General Medical Sciences
References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)
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|Date last updated: 13 September 2008
Topic last reviewed: 06 March 2008