Serious Injury: The 4 Types of Burns and How to Gauge their Severity

frustrated-surgeon-holding-bridge-of-nose-loewy-law-firmBurns are just a part of life, be it from sunlight, a curling iron, or the stove top. Listed below are the four different types of burns and some of their causes, followed by how to categorize their ‘degree’ of severity.

1. Thermal

This is the most common type of burn, it occurs when you come in contact with flame, heated materials, or scalding liquids. Everyone in their life will experience a burn like this, yet the severity can depend on the temperature and length of exposure.

2. Chemical

Chemical burns occur when you come in contact with a chemical or its fumes, resulting in damaged tissue(s) from acids and bases. Common products that cause chemical burns are teeth whitening supplies, bleach, ammonia, and cleaning products.

3. Radiation

If you know it or not you have most likely experienced a radiation burn. This type of burn occurs when you are excessively exposed to radiant energy such as sunlight, heat lamps, or radiation for cancer treatment. Don’t forget to wear that sunscreen!

4. Electrical

An electrical burn is the direct result of contact with electricity or lightning. Although getting struck by lightning is very rare, when it happens the damage it causes is hard to forget by its burned fractal pattern. Use extreme caution when near live electrical currents!

Degrees of Severity

Burn severity is categorized by its “degree.” The size of the burn, it’s depth, and the level of tissue that’s effected determine the burn’s severity ranking.

1st Degree Burn

The least severe type of burn, first degree burns are superficial, and only affect the outermost layer of skin. The victim sustains only minimal tissue damage, and the wound should heal within three to six days.

2nd Degree Burn

As you’ve gathered, this is the middle of the road in terms of severity. Second degree burns permeate past the epidermis and only slightly into the underlying dermis layer. The wound will appear wet and will be painful; blistering will occur within 24 hours, and is more likely to scar than a first degree burn.

3rd Degree Burn

The most severe type of burn, third degree burning permeates past the first two layers and affects bone, tendon, and/or muscle tissue. Dark charring can occur and loss of limb may happen as well. If you suspect a 2nd or 3rd degree burn in anyone, immediately call 911 for EMS.

Loewy Law Firm is dedicated to helping severely injured Texans. If you or someone you know feels like you deserve compensation for a serious injury, please contact the professionals at Loewy Law Firm for legal counsel!