Lightning burn

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A person who was affected by a nearby lightning strike. Note the slight branching redness traveling up his leg from the effects of the current.

Lightning burns are a cutaneous condition, a type of electrical burn following a lightning strike on a human. They are characterized by a unique pattern of skin lesions. Alternative names for them include "keraunographic markings", "feathering", "ferning", "Lichtenberg figures",[1][2] "lightning flowers" or "lightning trees".[3]

According to a BBC article, the marks are formed when capillaries beneath the skin rupture due to the electrical discharge and they usually appear "within hours" of the strike though they tend to disappear within a few days. They also generally occur on the upper body.[3]


  1. ^ Rapini, Ronald P.; Bolognia, Jean L.; Jorizzo, Joseph L. (2007). Dermatology: 2-Volume Set. St. Louis: Mosby. ISBN 1-4160-2999-0. 
  2. ^ Mallinson, T (2010). "Lightning Injuries". Focus on First Aid (16): 15–16. Retrieved 2010-09-30. 
  3. ^ a b "How do you recover from being struck by lightning?". Retrieved 9 August 2013. 

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