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Burns result from exposure of skin cells to an overwhelming amount of energy in the form of heat, causing cellular necrosis.
The degree of injury depends on the temperature, the duration of exposure, and the baseline structural integrity of the skin; which means younger children and elderly individuals are at higher risk of injury, because their skin is relatively weaker.
Less commonly, burns can be electrical, like from exposure to lightning strike or high-voltage electrical current, or from exposure to chemical substances, which can be acidic or alkaline.
Based on depth, burns can be first, second, or third degree.
A prime example would be a simple sunburn from a day on the beach, which appears red, with no blisters.
Second degree burns are further subclassified into superficial partial thickness burns, which involve the epidermis and the superficial dermis, and deep partial-thickness burns, which involve the epidermis and the deep dermis.
These appear leather-like with a charred appearance and tense feel.
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