What is it?

A burn injury occurs when skin is injured by heat. Common causes of a burn injury include hot, boiling liquids and solids, and flames. Burn injuries can also be caused by sun exposure, radiation, friction, electricity and chemicals.  

Burn injuries are rated on the seriousness of the burn and include:

  • First-degree burns – the skin is red but doesn’t have a blister 
  • Second-degree burns – the skin has blisters, and it becomes thick and raised
  • Third-degree burns – the skin is white and leathery, and the burn is widespread
  • Fourth-degree burns – the skin shows signs of a deep third-degree burn that reaches the tendons and bones

Treatment depends on the degree, location and cause of the burn. Chemical burns have the potential to cause further damage to the body if left untreated. Your GP will assess the seriousness of your burn and determine the next steps.