A burn is an injury caused by excessive energy transferred to the body. There are four different kinds of burns. The first type of burn is a thermal burn. A thermal burn is caused by an external heat source that causes the temperature of the skin and tissue cells in the skin to rise which causes the cells to get damaged or die. Thermal burns are usually caused by coming in contact with open flames, hot metals, or scalding liquids. The second type of burns are radiation burns. Radiation burns are be caused by extended exposure to radiation, such as Ultra-Violet radiation from the sun.
The third type of burns are Chemical burns. Chemical burns are caused by coming in contact with strong acids or alkalies. The last type of burns are electrical burns. Electrical burns are burn from coming in contact with an electrical current. Along with the four types of burns, there are also three different classifications on the levels of the severity of the burn. The least severe level of burn is called a first-degree burn or a superficial burn. A first degree burn only affects the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin. An example of a first-degree burn is a sun-burn.
First degree burns do not usually have any long term affects but sun-burns have been known to cause skin cancer. First-degree burns are very minor an heal quite easily. In the area around the burn and undamaged skin cells in the basale, or deepest layer of the epidermis grow and begin to spread out over wound until it is covered. A hormone called epidermal growth factor causes the basale epidermal skin cells to multiply until the skin reaches it original thickness.
The next level of burn is called a second degree burn or a partial thickness burn. Second degree burns involve the epidermis and the dermis, the layer under the epidermis. The burn will be red, blistered and may be swollen. Second degree burns are painful and may cause scarring. The worst level of burns is a third-degree burn. Third degree burns destroy both the epidermis and dermis and may even damage muscles, tendons, or bones under the dermis. The wound will appear white or charred. The victim will feel no pain because all of the nerve endings have been destroyed.
Second and third degree burns have a much more complex way of healing. The healing process has four stages. The first is the inflammatory phase in which the blood clots and the wound gets inflamed to kill off microbes, foreign objects and dead skin. The next stage is the migratory phase in which the wound begins to scab. The cells around the scab begin to migrate under the scab to cover the wound. In third-degree burns skin cells need to be implanted to start cell growth. Also in this stage blood vessels and scar tissue begin to grow.
The next stage is the proliferative phase in which epidermal cells begin to grow rapidly under the scab and blood vessels continue to grow. The final stage is the maturation stage in which the scab falls off after the skin under the scab have grown to its original thickness. The process in which scar tissue is formed is called fibrosis. Scar tissue has fewer blood vessels than regular skin and will have a different structure than regular skin. Scar tissue is usually lighter than your normal skin because of the lack of blood vesselsMore scar tissue is needed in more severe wounds.