Burns (First Aid) - Experience

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Introduction to burns

Picture of 2nd degree sunburn

The skin has an important role to play in the fluid and temperature regulation of the body. If enough skin area is injured, the ability to maintain that control can be lost. The skin also acts as a protective barrier against the bacteria and viruses that inhabit the world outside the body.

The anatomy of the skin is complex, and there are many structures within the layers of the skin. There are three layers:

  1. Epidermis, the outer layer of the skin
  2. Dermis, made up of collagen and elastic fibers and where nerves, blood vessels, sweat glands, and hair follicles reside.
  3. Hypodermis or subcutaneous tissue, where larger blood vessels and nerves are located. This is the layer of tissue that is most important in temperature regulation.

The amount of damage that a burn can cause depends upon its location, its depth, and how much body surface area that it involves.

Return to Burns (First Aid)

See what others are saying

Comment from: tom, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: June 04

I experienced hot coffee burns that peeled off the skin on my finger.

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Comment from: doe, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: August 25

At age 31 I was in a boat explosion. I got 3rd degree burns on arms and legs and 2nd degree on face and part of chest. The leg muscle on my left leg was destroyed. I had multiple skin grafts, and fusing of ankle a few years later. I am still feeling effects at age 86. Now I have lymphedema in my 'good' leg. A wonderful doctor who learned skin grafting during World War II saved my life!

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