Complications of Burns | Symptoms of Burns | Causes of Burns and Scalds

Burns and Scalds: Symptoms, Causes and Complications

What is Mean by Burn?

Burns may be defined as injuries resulting from the application of dry heat (e.g. flame and heated solid substances) or chemical substances to the external or internal surfaces of the body resulting in more or less destruction of the tissues. There are different types of burns like the first-degree burn, second-degree burn, and third-degree burn.

What is Scald?

Scald is a form of thermal burn injury resulted from heated fluids such as boiling water or stream. Most of the scalds are termed as first or second-degree burns but third-degree burns can result especially with prolonged contact. Scalds can be defined as injuries produced by the application of moist heat to the body.
Burns and scalds
Fig: Burns and scalds
What are the Causes of Burns?

There are so many things which cause burns including-

  1. Hot liquid or steam,
  2. Fire,
  3. Electrical currents,
  4. Hot metal, glass, or other objects,
  5. Fames,
  6. Lighting,
  7. Friction,
  8. Radiation therapy to treat cancer or radiation from X-rays,
  9. Some key chemicals such as strong acids, lye, paint thinner or gasoline,
  10. Sunlight or ultraviolet light from a sunlamp or tanning bed.

What are the Causes of Scalds?

There are some reasons for scalds which are in the below:

  • Boiling water,
  • Steam from boiling water,
  • Any other hot liquid such as tea, coffee, hot oils, etc.

Sign and Symptoms of Burns and Scalds:

All the signs and symptoms of burn have pointed out in the following:

  1. Blisters,
  2. Peeling skin,
  3. Red skin,
  4. Swelling,
  5. White or charred skin,
  6. Wheezing,
  7. Charred mouth,
  8. Burned lips,
  9. Burns on the head, face, or neck,
  10. Change in voice,
  11. Singed nose hairs or eyebrows,
  12. Difficulty breathing,
  13. Coughing,
  14. Dark, carbon-stained mucus,
  15. Pain (The degree of pain is not related to the harshness of the burn. The most serious burns can be painless),
  16. Shock.

What are the Complications of Burns?

Different complications of the burn are listed in the following according to categories:

Immediate Complications of Burn:

It includes-

  • Fluid overload,
  • Renal dysfunction,
  • Hemoglobinuria,
  • Stress gastroduodenal ulcers,
  • Pulmonary dysfunction,
  • Hypothermia,
  • Multiple organ dysfunctions,
  • Pneumonia,
  • Laryngeal edema,
  • ARDA,
  • Shock- Hypovolemia, and Neurologic.
Delayed Complications of Burn:

It includes-

  • Septicemia,
  • Protein-losing enteropathy,
  • Cerebral damage,
  • Failed skin graft,
  • Wound infection.
Late Complications of Burn:

It includes-

  • Contractures –limbs, neck,
  • Disfigurement,
  • Functional disability,
  • Post-burn contracture,
  • Posttraumatic stress,
  • Marjolein’s ulcer,
  • Scarring- keloid, hypertrophic.
More questions related to this article:
  1. What do you mean by scalds?
  2. What is mean burns?
  3. What is mean by scalds?
  4. What are the causes of a burn?
  5. What is the difference between burns and scalds?
  6. What causes burns?
  7. What causes scalds?
  8. What is the most common cause of burns?
  9. What are the clinical manifestations of burns?
  10. What are the clinical features of burns?
  11. What are the common signs and symptoms of burns?
  12. What are the common symptoms of burns?
  13. What are the major signs of burns?
  14. What are the common Complications of Burns?
  15. List the complications of burns.

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