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You are here : 3-RX.com > Medical Encyclopedia > Injuries and Wounds > Burns
      Category : Health Centers > Injuries and Safety


Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors | Symptoms & Signs | Diagnosis & Tests | Prevention & Expectations | Treatment & Monitoring

A burn is defined as any destruction of skin or body tissue resulting from heat, chemicals, radiation, or electricity. The severity of a burn depends several factors:

  • the amount of body surface area, also called BSA, that is injured
  • the depth of destruction
  • the location of the burn
  • What are the causes and risks of the injury?

    Following are some of the common causes of burns:

  • contact with a caustic chemical
  • contact with a hot object, such as curling irons, cigarettes, or stoves
  • electricity, such as electrical outlets or defective appliances
  • excess exposure to sunlight
  • inhalation of hot gas or steam, such as the discharge from an automobile radiator
  • open flames, such as matches, candles, and campfires
  • rapid ignition of a flammable material, such as lighter fluid
  • scalding from hot liquids, such as coffee or boiling water


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    Burns: Symptoms & Signs

    Author: James Broomfield, MD
    Reviewer: Barbara Mallari, RN, BSN, PHN
    Date Reviewed: 08/13/01

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