What is it?
A burn is an injury to the tissues of the body. Burns are classified according to the amount of tissue they affect and how deep they are. A first-degree burn is the least serious type of burn because it injures only the top layers of skin, called the epidermis.
Who gets it?
Anyone can get a first-degree burn. It is difficult to say how many people are affected each year because most do not need to seek medical treatment. Children are especially at risk for first-degree burns from hot water that is greater than 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Children and the elderly are more likely to experience complications from burns.
What causes it?
First-degree burns are most often caused by brief contact with either dry or moist heat (called a thermal burn) or chemicals; spending too much time in the sun (sunburn); or friction (such as by rubbing the skin against a rug or rope). When a burn is caused by hot water or steam, it is called a scald. The most common sources of heat that cause first-degree burns are hot water, cigarettes, hot grease, and hot beverages.
What are the symptoms?
Skin with a first-degree burn is red, sore, and sensitive to the touch. It may also be moist, slightly swollen, or itchy. Sunburns are often accompanied by headache and low fever. When lightly pressed, the reddened skin whitens, which is called blanching. First-degree burns do not blister and do not leave a scar. See a doctor immediately if a burn is on the face, hands, feet, or genitals; is caused by an electrical source; or covers a very large area.
How is it diagnosed?
Your doctor will examine the burned area and classify it according to the amount of tissue affected and the depth of the burn. He or she will ask how the burn occurred. If the patient is a child, the doctor will ask further questions to ensure the patient is not a victim of child abuse. Doctors assess the severity of a burn by determining what percentage of the total body... [continues]
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(2011, 01). Burns. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 01, 2011, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Burns-549439.html
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