Burns are a type of traumatic injury caused by thermal, electrical,
chemical, or electromagnetic energy. An open flame is the leading
cause of burn injury for adults, while scalding is the leading cause
of burn injury for children. Both infants and the elderly are at the
greatest risk for burn injury.
The effects of burns
A severe burn can be a seriously devastating injury - not only
physically but emotionally. It can affect not only to the burn victim,
but the entire family. Persons with severe burns may be left with a
loss of certain physical abilities, disfigurement, loss of a limb,
loss of mobility, scarring, and infection. In addition, severe burns
are capable of penetrating deep skin layers, causing muscle or tissue
damage that may affect every system of the body.
Burns can also cause emotional problems such as depression,
nightmares, or flashbacks from the traumatizing event. The loss of a
friend or family member and possessions in the fire may add grief to
the emotional strain of a burn.
The skin and its functions
The skin is the body's largest organ, covering the body. It is
composed of various layers, with each layer performing specific
functions. In addition to serving as a protective shield against heat,
light, injury, and infection, the skin also: