Common injuries include cuts, bruises, broken bones, and fractures – so what exactly is a burn injury? Anyone can be burned, but some people are more susceptible to burns than others. Additionally, there are three different kinds of burns, and each one must be carefully treated. Even with proper treatment, it may be impossible to avoid permanent scarring or damage to the body.
How Do People Get Burned?
So, how exactly do people get burned? A burn injury is caused when your skin is exposed to fire, an open flame, or a hot liquid. Burns typically happen in your home from simple things like dry or wet heat, chemicals, heated objects, electricity, or even friction.
Scald burns make up 35% of overall injuries at burn centers in the United States. Most scald burn victims are under the age of five. Hot water or re-heated food and drink cause most of these burns.
The Layers of Your Skin
Your skin is your largest organ and plays a significant role in protecting your body from infection and injury. Your skin is constantly being renewed and repaired by your body. Because your skin protects your whole body, it’s susceptible to many injuries, including burns. To understand how you may have been burned, you need to understand the skin’s anatomy. There are three layers of skin that can be burned.
First is the epidermis, your top layer of skin. The epidermis is very thin. If you are burned, your epidermis will be affected.
The dermis is your second layer of skin. It’s right underneath the epidermis. The dermis houses your sweat glands, hair follicles, and nerve endings.
The subcutaneous layer (or hypodermis) is the third layer of skin. The subcutaneous layer is comprised of fat and helps regulate body temperature.
Finally, muscle and bone are underneath the layers of skin. Some burns are severe enough to reach the muscles and bones underneath the three layers of skin.
Different Types of Burns
So, what exactly is a burn injury? There are three different types of burns: first-degree, second-degree, and third-degree.
A first-degree burn only affects the epidermis. You’ll typically have redness and pain in the area that was burned. A first-degree burn is the mildest kind of burn. It hurts, but the pain is usually manageable. A sunburn is an example of a first-degree burn.
A second-degree burn affects the epidermis and the dermis. Second-degree burns cause swelling, splotchy skin, blisters, and severe pain. The blisters could be swollen, which is even more painful, and the skin underneath hurts to touch. If the burn goes deep enough, you might have a scar.
A third-degree burn passes through the epidermis and the dermis to the subcutaneous layer. The burned area could be black, brown, or white, and the skin may look like leather. Third-degree burns are more serious–they destroy every layer of skin. You could have destroyed nerves or numbness.
Are You a Burn Victim?
Have you recently suffered from a burn injury? Or is your burn the result of someone’s negligence? Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton represents burn victims and will work hard to get you compensated for your injury and your pain and suffering. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.