It is tissue deterioration that occurs as a result of contact with heat or a heat generating substance. It is also called scalding if it is caused by hot water or steam. Depending on the severity of the burn, skin layers, muscle or bone tissue may be affected.

It is tissue deterioration that occurs as a result of contact with heat or a heat generating substance. It is also called scalding if it is caused by hot water or steam.

Depending on the severity of the burn, skin layers, muscle or bone tissue may be affected.

Causes of burns: 

  1. Physical burns:
    • Burns caused by heat (hot water, steam, fire, hot substances, heaters, etc.)
    • Burns caused by electricity (electric current, lightning, etc.)
    • Burns caused by radiation (sunburn, x-rays, radiotherapy, solarium, etc.),
    • Burns caused by friction (rashes, motorcycle, bicycle accidents, etc.),
    • Burns caused by frostbite,
  1. Chemical burns:
    • Burns caused by acid-alkaline substances (sulfuric acid (toilet cleaner), sodium hydrochloride (bleach), paint removers, etc.).

Burn degrees: 

The severity of the burn symptom depends on the degree of the burn. The degree of burn is determined by the affected tissue and skin layer.

Skin layers:

Epidermis: The outermost layer does not contain vascular tissue.

Dermis: It is the middle layer, containing capillaries, hair follicles and sweat glands.

Hypodermis (subcutaneous layer): It is the layer that connects the skin to the body. It includes adipose tissue, arteries, veins, nerves.

First degree burns: 

It is superficial. The epidermis is affected. There is redness of the skin, pain, slight swelling in the burn area. No blisters (bullae) are formed. The skin is dry. It heals in an average of 48 hours. The most classic example is sunburn. It is safe as long as it does not affect the whole body.

Second degree burns: 

It is partially superficial. The depidermis and part of the dermis are affected. There are redness, pain, blisters (bullae) filled with water on the skin. The pain is more because the nerve endings are stimulated. The skin is moist. It heals in about 10-15 days. It usually heals without scarring.

Third degree burns: 

They are deep burns. All layers of the skin are affected. There is a color change in the skin. It can be brown-black or white in color. The pain is not much. It can leave a mark. It heals in a long time (1 month etc.).

Fourth degree burns: 

They are very deep burns. Along with all skin layers, muscle and bone tissue are also affected. It has black, dry skin. The pain is minimal because the nerves are damaged. Often the burned area needs to be cut and removed.

When should I go to the health facility? 

Most superficial burns can be treated at home with some simple precautions. It is important to keep the burn clean and not burst any blisters. Larger burns must be treated with the help of a health professional.

The following types of burns or burn patients are recommended to consult a healthcare provider.

  • All chemical and electrical burns,
  • Wide and deep burns where the area of the burn is larger than the injured person’s hand
  • Burns that cause brown, black or white discoloration on the skin,
  • Burns on the face, neck, hands, feet, any joint or genitals,
  • Those affected by the smoke next to the burn,
  • Burn patients with difficulty in breathing, severe pain, cough,
  • Burn patients showing signs of shock (cold, moist skin, sweating, rapid-shallow breathing, etc.),
  • All burns of children under 10 years old,
  • Burn patients with weakened immune system,
  • Burn patients with liver, kidney, heart, lung disease,
  • Persons who are deliberately exposed to burning.

Complications of burn 

Burns sometimes progress with serious complications. These complications can be fatal without adequate intervention.

Possible burn complications include:

  1. Heat stroke:

It develops due to being under the sun too much. It can sometimes be fatal due to excessive fluid loss.


  • Extreme weakness, fatigue,
  • Headache,
  • Dizziness,
  • Fainting,
  • Nausea, vomiting,
  • Increase in heart rate,
  • Fire,
  • Shake,
  • Blurring of consciousness.

The patient, who is suspected of sunstroke, is immediately taken to a shaded, cool and preferably closed place.

It is ensured to consume plenty of fluids.

If dehydration is thought to be excessive, seek immediate medical attention.

Sunstroke is a condition that often requires intravenous fluid supplementation. For this reason, it is beneficial to apply to a health institution.

  1. Infection:

Burn areas are areas open to infection. Infection often develops in burns that are not kept clean and treated appropriately. Infection of burn sites can sometimes be serious. Bursting of blisters (bullae) also increases the risk of infection.


  • Smelly fluid accumulation in the burn area,
  • increased pain,
  • Fire,
  • Generalized redness and swelling of the skin,

It is recommended that infections occurring after burns be followed up in a healthcare facility. Antibiotics and supportive treatment are administered. There is a risk of sepsis (infection of microorganisms in the blood) and shock due to burns that are not properly treated.


Although it varies according to the size and degree of the burns, in some burns, sufficient oxygen cannot be supplied to the body and shock develops.


  • Cold, moist skin
  • Sweating,
  • Pale face,
  • Increase in heart rate,
  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Blurring of consciousness.

Immediate medical attention is requested for the patient who is suspected of developing shock.

Legs are lifted up.

Vital signs are evaluated. Respiration and circulation are provided to be open.

4.Psychological effects:

Burns sometimes progress with serious psychological problems in people. Burning event, pain and pain, long treatment processes and remaining burn marks can cause psychological problems.

  • Self-confidence problems,
  • Anxiety stress disorders,
  • Depression may develop.

Psychological support should be offered to such patients.

Prevention and prevention of burns: 

Protect your children and babies from being burned :

  • Keep children away from kitchen utensils such as teapots, pots, stoves, ovens, kettles,
  • Before giving your child a bath, check the temperature of the water,
  • Do not leave your child alone in the bathroom,
  • Keep your child away while ironing.
  • Put materials such as matches, lighters, lit candles out of reach of children,
  • Carefully use glasses or mugs containing hot drinks near your child,
  • Check the temperature while giving your baby milk.

Protection from sunburn:

  • Do not stay under the sun for long, do not go into the sea between 11:00-15:00, when the sun’s rays come at a steeper angle and are more effective in summer,
  • In sunny weather, wear a hat, cotton, short sleeved and loose clothes, avoid tight and sweaty clothes,
  • Use sunscreen with the appropriate factor in sunny weather or when swimming in the sea,
  • Take a cold shower from time to time
  • If sunburn has occurred, do not pop the bubbles,
  • If sunburn has occurred, do not enter chlorinated pools to cool off,
  • Repeated exposure to the sunburned area may predispose to skin cancer.

Protection from electrical burns:

  • When doing electrical work, turn off the electricity from the fuses,
  • When doing electrical work, wear thick-soled shoes, use dry, rubber gloves,
  • Remove the open wires near the electrocuted person with an insulating material,
  • Prevent children from easily reaching sockets and electrical cords.
  • Do not use conductive objects when touching electrical wires.