Symptoms of a burn can include;

  • Blisters
  • Pain
  • Peeling skin
  • Red skin
  • White or charred skin
  • Shock
  • Swelling

For those who have suffered an airways burn the symptoms may include;

  • Charred mouth/burnt lips
  • Burns to the head, face and neck
  • Wheezing
  • Change in voice
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Coughing
  • Singed nose hairs/eyebrows
  • Dark, carbon-stained mucus

Complications that may arise following a burn or scald can include;

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  • Shock
  • Heat exhaustion and heatstroke
  • Infection
  • Scarring
  • Shock

    After sustaining a serious injury it is possible for the body to go into shock. This is a life-threatening condition, occurring when there is a lack of oxygen supply to the body. It is possible to go in to shock following a serious burn.

    The symptoms of shock include;

    • A pale face
    • Cold or clammy skin
    • A rapid pulse
    • Fast, shallow breathing
    • Yawning
    • Unconsciousness


  • Heat exhaustion and heatstroke

    Two heat related conditions that arise when the temperature inside the body rises to 37-40C (98.6-104F) or above.

    Both conditions can be very serious, often caused from being exposed to too much sunlight or heat. If someone is sunburnt they may be at risk of developing heat exhaustion or heatstroke.

    Symptoms can include;

    • Extreme tiredness and lack of energy
    • Dizziness/fainting
    • Feeling sick or vomiting
    • Rapid pulse
    • Headache
    • Irritability
    • Confusion
  • Infection

    Should bacteria enter a wound it may become infected. If the burn or scald has a blister and the blister bursts this too can become infected if not kept clean.

    The wound may be infected if;

    • It is uncomfortable, painful or smelly
    • High temperature of 38C or higher
    • Signs of cellulitis, a bacterial infection that causes redness and swelling

    An infected burn can cause blood poisoning (sepsis) or toxic shock syndrome (TSS), although this only happens in rare cases. Sepsis and TSS are serious, life threatening conditions if left untreated. Signs of these conditions include a high temperature, dizziness and vomiting.

  • Scarring

    A scar is an area of tissue that remains visible after a wound has healed.

    The majority of minor burns leave only minimal scarring.