This study was designed to evaluate the epidemiology and outcome of burn injuries due to paint thinner in a local burn center. During a 10-year period, 32 patients were admitted to our Burn Unit for paint thinner thermal burn. Patients were reviewed regarding the age, sex, etiologic factors, extent and localization of burn, treatment methods, length of hospitalization, and results. There were 30 males and 2 females. The mean age of patients was 25.9 +/- 11 years. The most common etiologic factor was kindling a fire with paint thinner. The mean extent of burn was 33.6 +/- 24% of the total body surface area. All patients sustained burn injury on the face, arms, and hands and five patients among them had extended burn areas on the trunk and/or lower extremity. The mean length of hospitalization for the survivors was 34.5 +/- 21.6 days. Twenty-eight patients were treated by early excision and split-thickness skin grafting. In four patients, burn wounds were healed by conservative management. Five patients with burn size of over 75% of the total body surface area died. In conclusion, paint thinner may be the cause of a catastrophic thermal injury and should not be used for the purpose of kindling fire. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd and ISBI. All rights reserved.