I once suffered a burn wound after accidentally touching a hot plate. I
think it was a superficial first-degree burn [only epidermis injured].
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?