Upwards of 480,000 burn injuries requiring medical care occur in the United States each year. Whether it’s because you forgot to use an oven mitt when you took the cookies out of the oven or because you didn’t realize the electric stove was on when you started cleaning the burner, burn injuries can range from mild to severe.
Mild burn injuries may require just a light bandage and antibiotic ointment to heal on their own. Other more serious burns may require ongoing medical care to completely heal.
The Levels of Burn Injuries
When a part of your body is burned, the damage causes the impacted skin cells to die. There are three primary burn levels, which help dictate the level of care you’ll need:
- First-degree burns
- Red, non-blistered skin
- Second-degree burns
- Blisters and some thickening of the skin
- Third-degree burns
- Widespread thickness with a white, leathery appearance
Additionally, it is possible to sustain a fourth-degree burn, which is characterized by an extension beyond the skin into tendons and bones.
Causes of Burn Injuries
There are several ways you can sustain a burn injury, including:
- Scalding from hot, boiling fluids
- Chemical burns
- Electrical burns
- Fires, including flames from matches, candles, and lighters
- Excessive sun exposure
Keep in mind that chemical and electrical burns require immediate medical care because they can impact the inside of your body, even if the damage to your skin is relatively mild.
Characteristics of Severe Burns
Besides fourth-degree burns, third-degree burns are the most severe. They inflict the most harm as they extend through all layers of your skin.
You may think third-degree burns are the most painful, but that may not always be the case. When a burn injury is so severe that nerve damage is sustained, you may not be able to feel any pain at all.
It depends on how you were burned, but some of the symptoms of third-degree burns can include:
- Waxy and white color
- Dark brown color
- Raised and leathery texture
- Blisters that do not develop
If you do not get surgery for a burn of this nature, you may end up with significant scarring and contracture.
Sustaining a burn injury as a result of another’s negligence is something no one should have to go through. If you’re injured as a result of someone else’s carelessness, they should be held accountable for their wrongdoing. Our team may be able to help you recover the compensation you deserve.