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/What are the types of burns?

What are the types of burns?

There are several degrees of burns that are classified by their depth, including: first, second, third, and fourth degree burns, as well as inhalation burns.

First Degree Burns:

Red and sensitive to touch. The skin will appear blanched when light pressure is applied. Involves minimal tissue damage to the skin surface (epidermis). First degree burns affect the outer-layer of the skin causing pain, redness, and swelling. An example of a first degree burn is a sunburn.

Symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Peeling skin
  • Redness
  • Shock (pale, clammy skin, weakness, bluish lips and finger nails)
  • Swelling
  • White or charred skin

Second Degree Burns:

Second degree burns affect the outer-layer (epidermis) and the under lying layer of skin (dermis) causing redness, pain, blisters, and swelling. These burns affect the sweat glands and hair follicles. A second degree burn must be treated promptly because swelling and decreased blood flow can result in the burn becoming a third-degree burn.

Symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Peeling skin
  • Redness
  • Shock (pale, clammy skin, weakness, bluish lips and finger nails)
  • Swelling
  • White or charred skin

Third Degree Burns:

Affects the outer layer (epidermis), underlying layer of skin (dermis) and the innermost and thickest layer of skin (hypodermis).  This burn causes charred skin and a translucent white color, with coagulated vessels visible below the skin’s surface. Healing from third-degree burns is very slow because of the tissue being destroyed.

Symptoms:

  • Pain
  • Peeling skin
  • Redness
  • Shock (pale, clammy skin, weakness, bluish lips and finger nails)
  • Swelling
  • White or charred skin

Fourth Degree Burns:

Fourth Degree burns are the most serious burns—full thickness burns that affect every layer of the skin and the structures below the skin, such as tendons, bone, ligaments and muscles. These are not typically chronically painful burns because the nerves have been destroyed. Fourth degree burns always require surgery or grafting to close the wounds, often resulting in permanent disability, with lengthy rehabilitation times. These burns can be life-threatening and may require amputation.

Inhalation Injuries:

  • Damage from heat inhalation: Lung burns occur if you have directly breathed in hot air or a flame source or the heat was forced into you with high pressure. Thermal injury causes damage to the upper airways however, the secondary airway may be injured is steam is inhaled.
  • Damage from systemic toxins: Systemic toxins affect people’s ability to absorb oxygen. Systemic toxins cause a person to act confused or fall unconscious in the case of an enclosed fire. Toxic poisoning can cause permanent damage to organs including the brain. The effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning may be unknown, with no symptoms, until the victim falls into a coma.
  • Damage from smoke inhalation: Smoke intoxication is commonly hidden by visible injuries as a result of a fire. 60% to 80% of fatalities from burn injuries can be attributed to smoke inhalation, which is not readily apparent. Inhalation injury indicators usually appear within 2-48 hours after the burn occurred. Such indications are:
  • Burns around face or neck
  • Fainting
  • Fire or smoke in a closed area
  • Nasal hairs, eyebrows, eyelashes singed
  • Respiratory distress or upper airway obstruction
  • Soot around mouth or nose

Radiation Burns:

Radiation burns are caused by X-rays, radiation therapy for cancer treatment, tanning beds, or malfunctioning halide light bulbs.

Electrical Burns:

Electrical burns can have many causes, such as high voltage wires, damaged electrical cords, and electrical outlets. Internal injuries that result from an electrical burn are not always apparent.

Chemical Burns:

Chemical burns often are associated with industrial accidents and occur because of chemical compounds such as cleaning products, battery fluid, pool chemicals, and drain cleaners. Hydrofluoric acid can eat to the bone before the severity burn injury become evident.

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By |2018-07-04T15:04:01+00:00July 4th, 2018|Burn Injury FAQs|Comments Off on What are the types of burns?

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