Burn: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 3/1/2019

A burn is damage to the skin or other body parts that is caused by extreme heat, flame, contact with heated objects, or chemicals. Medically, the depth of a burn is categorized as first, second, or third degree depending upon its severity.

Signs and symptoms of a burn depend upon the degree of severity. First-degree burns are similar to a sunburn and cause skin redness, peeling, mild to moderate pain, and tenderness. Blistering may occur. Second-degree burns have more severe symptoms and signs, including a greater degree of blistering and more intense pain. In third-degree burns, there is loss of color of the skin as it turns white. Loss of sensation is an associated symptom with third-degree burns.

Causes of burns

Exposure to the sun, radiation, heat, flames, or electrical or chemical contact can cause a burn.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/1/2019

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