Chapter 28. Mechanical and Thermal Injury

  1. Tony Burns MB, BS, FRCP Emeritus Consultant Dermatologist4,
  2. Stephen Breathnach MA, MB, BChir, MD, PhD, FRCP Consultant Dermatologist5,6,
  3. Neil Cox BSc, MB, ChB, FRCP(Lond & Edin) Consultant Dermatologist Visiting Professor7,8 and
  4. Christopher Griffiths BSc, MD, FRCP, FRCPath Professor of Dermatology Consultant Dermatologist9
  1. C. T. C. Kennedy MA, MB, BChir, FRCP Consultant Dermatologist Clinical Senior Lecturer1,
  2. D. A. R. Burd MBChB, FRCS, MD Professor2 and
  3. D. Creamer BSc, MD, FRCP Consultant Dermatologist3

Published Online: 6 MAY 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9781444317633.ch28

Rook's Textbook of Dermatology, Eighth Edition

Rook's Textbook of Dermatology, Eighth Edition

How to Cite

Kennedy, C. T. C., Burd, D. A. R. and Creamer, D. (2010) Mechanical and Thermal Injury, in Rook's Textbook of Dermatology, Eighth Edition (eds T. Burns, S. Breathnach, N. Cox and C. Griffiths), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444317633.ch28

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Leicester Royal Infirmary, Infirmary Square, Leicester LE1 5WW, UK

  2. 5

    St John's Institute of Dermatology, Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust, St Thomas' Hospital, Lambeth Palace Road, London SE1 7EH, UK

  3. 6

    Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust, Epsom, Surrey, UK

  4. 7

    Department of Dermatology, Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle CA2 7HY, UK

  5. 8

    University of Cumbria, Carlisle CA1 2HH, UK

  6. 9

    The Dermatology Centre, University of Manchester, Salford Royal Hospital, Salford, Manchester M6 8HD, UK

Author Information

  1. 1

    Bristol Dermatology Centre, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Marlborough Street, Bristol BS2 8HW, UK

  2. 2

    The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Surgery, 4/F Clinical Science Building, Prince of Wales Hospital, Shatin, New Territories, Hong Kong

  3. 3

    Department of Dermatology, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London SE5 9RS, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 6 MAY 2010
  2. Published Print: 22 MAR 2010

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781405161695

Online ISBN: 9781444317633



  • mechanical and thermal injury;
  • skin, constantly subjected to internal and external mechanical forces;
  • isomorphic (Koebner) response;
  • Nikolsky sign, well-known effect of shearing trauma - evoking lesions of pemphigus foliaceus;
  • mechanical properties of skin;
  • callosities, corns and calluses – callosity, plaque of hyperkeratosis caused by repeated friction and/or pressure;
  • topical negative pressure therapy, important adjunct in treatment of wound types;
  • skin signs of torture;
  • traumatic lesions during intensive care;
  • vibratory angio-oedema - vibratory angio-oedema occurring at low frequencies


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Overview of skin injury

  • Biomechanical considerations [1-4]

  • Effects of friction

  • Pressure ulcer

  • Effects of suction

  • Miscellaneous reactions to mechanical trauma

  • Foreign bodies

  • Other penetrating injuries

  • Skin lesions in drug addicts

  • Skin hazards of swimming and diving

  • Vibration

  • Reactions to internal mechanical stress

  • Mechanical trauma and skin neoplasia

  • Reactions to cold

  • Effects of heat and infrared radiation

  • Burns

  • Miscellaneous reactions

  • References