A burn is a type of injury to skin, or other tissues, caused by heat, cold, electricity, chemicals, friction, or radiation. Most burns are due to heat from hot liquids, solids, or fire. While rates are similar for males and females the underlying causes often differ. Among women in some areas, risk is related to use of open cooking fires or unsafe cook stoves. Among men, risk is related to the work environments. Alcoholism and smoking are other risk factors. Burns can also occur as a result of self harm or violence between people. Wounds requiring surgical closure with skin grafts or flaps (typically anything more than a small full thickness burn) should be dealt with as early as possible. Circumferential burns of the limbs or chest may need urgent surgical release of the skin, known as an escharotomy.
This is done to treat or prevent problems with distal circulation, or ventilation. It is uncertain if it is useful for neck or digit burns. Fasciotomies may be required for electrical burns. The primary focus of the reconstruction program is to use modern plastic surgery services that correct dysfunction and deformities related to burn injury. Additionally, the reconstruction patient is provided psychological follow-up, social work services, corrective cosmetics and other services addressing the diverse late effects of a serious burn injury.