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General Knowledge

How do hot things burn us?

How do hot things burn us?

We get burns when we touch very hot substances. How does this happen any idea?.

When a substance is heated by any means, its temperature increases and it becomes hot. Heat flows from a substance at a higher temperature to a substance at a lower temperature. When we touch a hot substance, heat flows from it to our body because our body will be at a lower temperature. We feel the sensation of heat.

The Science behind

Our body is made up of cells and these cells are made up of molecules. These molecules are in motion at a normal body temperature. Similarly other substances also are made up of cells and molecules. When a substance is heated, its molecules get accelerated and move with more speed.

When we touch a hot substance, the fast moving molecules of that substance accelerate the motion of the molecules of the cells of our body part. The cells break up at the affected part which stands the fast vibrations. The breaking up of these cells gives us a burning sensation. Blood flows to the affected cells to repair them causing more blood circulation in the affected area. Due to this the affected part becomes red.

When the temperature of the object touching the body is very high, a large number of cells and nerves break up. The heat of the substance dehydrates the cells of the skin and they break up. This is called the burning sensation.

Degrees of Burns

Burns are classified mainly into four degrees. In the first degree burns, only the superficial layers become red. Second degree burns damages deeper layers and blisters are formed. In the third degree burns, all layers of the skin are damaged and destroyed. In fourth degree burns, skin as well as tissues beneath the skin are also damaged.

Chemicals, X-Rays, Acids, Alkalies, Radioactive Rays, Electricity are also causes for burns.

Picture used for illustration only

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Born and brought up in Kerala, I did my schooling in Kerala and graduated (B.Sc Physics) from the Calicut University. I have worked with a Swedish Company from 1994 to 2015, as a Senior Project Manager in their Group IT Division in Dubai. This blog is the result of my strong desire to communicate with others, sharing what I know and what I could gather from various sources.


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