Information in simple English

What is a burn?

A burn is a type of tissue injury caused by heat, cold, electricity, chemicals, friction, or UV radiation to the skin or other tissues (like sunburn). Heat from hot liquids, solids, or fire causes most burns. Although male and female rates are similar, the underlying causes are frequently different. In some locations, it is the use of open flames or faulty cook stoves by women which causes such risk. Work conditions are linked to risk in men. Other risk factors include alcoholism and smoking. Self-harm or interpersonal violence assault can also cause Burns. 


  • First degree
  • Second degree
  • Third degree
  • Fourth degree 


  • First-degree: affects only the epidermis, or outer layer of skin. May cause redness without blisters.
  • Second-degree: affects both the epidermis and the second layer of skin (dermis). May cause blisters and discomfort.
  • Third degree: burns the epidermis and dermis. The affected area is stiff but not painful.
  • Fourth degree: penetrate both the top and bottom layers of the skin and deeper tissue. May cause loss of bone and tendon.


  • Heat
  • Cold
  • Electricity
  • Chemicals
  • Friction
  • Radiation