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The second most common form of self-harm is burning the skin. There are normally two ways that people do this; heat burns and chemical burns. 

Heat burns are caused by heat, or a hot object, being placed on or near the skin and are split into three categories. 

First-degree burns have similar qualities to sunburn, the skin is red and sensation is intact. This burn is painful and covers a small area of skin.

Second-degree burns the skin is red and blistered and the pain is much more intense. The burn normally covers a small area of the body.

Third-degree burns the skin is white because the damage has caused skin death. The skin has no sensation. Burns that cover more than 15% of the body are also considered third degree as they lead to shock and require hospitalisation. 

Regardless of the degree of burn, the skin will be inflamed with fluid accumulation around the wound. This is the skin's first defence against infection. 

Chemical burns are caused by a chemical reaction, which has come in contact with the skin. The heat produced by the chemical reaction burns the skin in much the same way as a heat burn does. However, chemical reactions can cause damage inside the body without appearing to cause much damage on the surface of the skin. Many people have reported permanent loss of feeling in areas damaged by chemical burns. 

Anyone who comes into contact with a chemical burn should seek medical assistance immediately.

Please click here to read the information on how to look after a burn.

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