Burns caused by heat are called thermal burns. A steam burn is a type of thermal burn caused by boiling hot water vapor.
Steam burns are scalds. Scalds can also be caused by hot liquid. The liquid does not have to be boiling in order to scald.
Scalds from hot liquid and steam make up 35% of all burn injuries seen in U.S. burn centers.
Steam burns can occur in people of all age groups, but some groups are at higher risk. These include:
- Elderly people
- Patients with certain medical conditions
Steam burns can affect any exposed part of the body, including:
- The mucous membranes in your mouth, nose, and windpipe
This article discusses the symptoms, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of steam burns. It also looks at the steps to take after you or someone else has been burned.