I once suffered a burn wound after accidentally touching a hot plate. I
think it was a first-degree burn. The skin texture and moisture content
didn't change at all. There was no swelling at all. The burn healed
long time ago. However, I am still curious as to why the burn wound
looked white. I am very dark-skinned [literally as dark as an Oreo
cookie]. My burn wound appeared white -- like white foam. It was not
cold, so vasoconstriction didn't cause the color change. The wound was
unusually hot, extremely irritating, painful and foamy white. The plate
wasn't nearly hot enough to dehydrate my skin at all. Plus the duration
of contact wasn't long enough to dehydrate my skin in the burn region.
So dehydration is not what made my burn look white.
It is highly probable that the heat from the plate denatured the
protein molecules of the epidermis in the burn. Denaturation causes
proteins to lose their non-covalent bonds, to form covalent bonds and
to coagulate. So I think that it is the protein denaturation that
caused the burn wound to look like white foam.
I am aware that *denaturation* and *coagulation* aren't necessarily the
same thing. Denaturation leads to coagulation but the two aren't
exactly the same thing.
Denaturation = the breaking of non-covalent bonds
Coagulation = the formation of covalent bonds
Here is my question. Is it the *denaturation* or the *coagulation* [or
both] that caused my burn to look white?