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The Types of Burn Injuries

Friday, December 09, 2016By Richard Alexander

If you or a family member have suffered from a bad burn, you know that few injuries come with such devastating consequences. Burns are caused by many different things, from explosions, flames, and hot liquids to chemicals and electricity. But regardless of the cause, burns are classified according to their severity.

Many people have heard of first-degree murder, one of the most heinous crimes with some of the stiffest penalties. In states that use this term, first-degree murder is the worst of all of the homicide crimes.

The language used to describe the types of burns can be confusing because it conflicts with our society’s general understanding of what “first-degree” means.

The terms used to describe the severity of burns are easy to remember: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree. But in the lingo used to describe burns, a first-degree burn is the least severe, not the most severe, as you might expect.

First-degree burns affect only the top layer of skin. Perhaps the most common example, and one familiar to most people, is a sunburn. Most of the time, no blisters are present. Symptoms include redness and pain, and sometimes swelling.

Second-degree burns affect the top and middle layers of skin. These burns may penetrate partway through the second layer, known as the dermis. When this is the case, healing usually occurs in 10-21 days. However, if the burn extends all the way through the dermis, skin grafting is usually required. Second-degree burns are identified by symptoms such as redness and pain, blisters, and wetness.

The worst burns are classified as third-degree burns. These burns go all the way through all levels of skin. Third-degree burns can cause permanent disfigurement and usually require skin to be grafted. They can take a very long time to heal. Symptoms of third-degree burns include dryness and the permanent destruction of tissue.

If you or a family member have been wrongfully injured in a burn accident, call us at 888.777.1776 or use our online contact form. Delays can hurt your case, so please don't wait.

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