Burn injuries could occur because of chemical exposure, a fire or an explosion. People can develop burn injuries because of an incident at their home or because of something that happens at work. The injuries themselves can be as unique as the situations that lead to severe burns.
There are four different kinds of burns, as well as a four-degree system for classifying the severity of burns. Anyone who has suffered a major burn or has a loved one with such injuries may need to learn more about the kinds of burns to make informed decisions about medical care.
What are the four types of burns?
According to Johns Hopkins medicine, there are four different kinds of burns that humans can experience. Thermal burns are the best known, and these are what occur because of exposure to high heat, such as boiling water or flames.
Radiation burns occur because of lengthy exposure to radiation or exposure to unusually high levels of radiation. Sunburns are actually a kind of radiation burn. Chemical burns are the result of someone coming into contact with strong chemicals, like acids and bases. Undiluted cleaning detergents and chemical solvents can also cause serious chemical burns. Finally, there are electrical burns, which are the results of contacting a source of electricity.
What are the different degrees of burns?
Medical professionals classify burns into four different degrees. A first-degree burn is the least severe and typically only affects the outer layer of skin. Burns that damage the lower layers of skin and produce blisters are second-degree burns.
Third-degree burns completely penetrate the skin and penetrate the tissue below. If the burn goes deep enough to affect musculature, bones or connective tissue, medical professionals will classify it as a fourth-degree burn. Both third and fourth-degree burns can be life-threatening because of the trauma they cause the body. Someone with extensive burns over a significant portion of their body could also be at risk of developing an infection.
The nature of the burn and its severity will play a role in the treatment available to someone and how long their injuries affect their life. Learning more about burn injuries can help those who need to negotiate an insurance claim or take a business or individual to civil court to recover compensation for burn injuries.