Menu   WellSpan Health

Health Library

Health Library

Burns Overview

What are burns?

Burns are a type of injury caused by heat. The heat can be thermal, electrical, chemical, or electromagnetic energy. Most burn accidents occur at home. About 75 percent of all burn injuries in children are preventable.

Smoking and open flame are the leading causes of burn injury for older adults, while scalding is the leading cause of burn injury for children. Both infants and the elderly are at the greatest risk for burn injury.

What are the different types of burns?

A burn injury usually results from an energy transfer to the body. There are many types of burns caused by thermal, radiation, chemical, or electrical contact:

  • Thermal burns. Burns due to external heat sources which raise the temperature of the skin and tissues and cause tissue cell death or charring. Hot metals, scalding liquids, steam, and flames, when coming in contact with the skin, can cause thermal burns.

  • Radiation burns. Burns caused by prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun, or to other sources of radiation such as X-ray.

  • Chemical burns. Burns caused by strong acids, alkalies, detergents, or solvents coming into contact with the skin and/or eyes.

  • Electrical burns. Burns from electrical current, either alternating current (AC) or direct current (DC).

Burns Overview - WellSpan Health

Online Medical Reviewer: Bass, Pat F. III, MD, MPH
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 2013-05-21T00:00:00
Last Modified Date: 2013-06-03T00:00:00
Posting Date: 2008-11-30T00:00:00
Published Date: 2013-06-03T00:00:00
Last Review Date: 2007-03-30T00:00:00
© 2015 WellSpan Health. All Rights Reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.

Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.


Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.