Potential Long-Term Effects of a Serious Burn

The skin is the body’s largest organ tasked with regulating its temperature and is the body’s first defense against infection. Severe burns to the skin compromise the entire body’s health, putting individuals at risk of other diseases. Treatment for burn injuries in Oregon is critical to mitigate these potential long-term effects. If an injury was caused by negligence, a Portland burn injury attorney may be able to help.

Serious Burn Injury Long-Term Effects

Suffering a severe burn injury can lead to more commonly recognized injuries but also to injuries that most people never consider until they have suffered an unimaginable burn event. Burn injuries may lead to physical, psychological, and financial hardship.


Burn scars are the most visible wounds left by a burn injury. It is also a complicated long-term effect that produces multiple types of scarring, each creating unique complications for a burn victim.

  • Hypertrophic: Thick, raised scarring created by extra connective tissue forming over the wound as an abnormal response to healing, developing in the area of the original wound.
  • Keloid: Scars that appear months after a burn injury, causing discomfort or pain as the scar grows. These raised scars extend beyond the initial burn area and generally do not fade over time.
  • Contracture: A pulling together of the edges of a large burn area of damaged skin that may lead to a decrease in the size of the skin, resulting in decreased movement in the joints, muscles, and tendons.

Burn scarring can lead to visual disfigurement, but scarring can impact mobility and can produce long-term pain and sensation issues. Discoloration may also result from burns and scarring.

Nerve Damage

The skin is filled with sensitive nerves that continually transmit messages to the brain. While nerve regeneration may occur, permanent nerve damage may be a complicated long-term effect of a burn injury, producing the following:

  • A sensation of pins and needles in the burn area or tingling
  • Numbness in the affected area
  • A reduced or lost sense of touch

Perspiration Abnormalities

Sweat is a cooling agent, keeping the body from overheating. Burns from accidents, medical injury, radiation therapy, and other treatments may damage the sweat glands, causing a condition called anhidrosis. Severe results from extreme cases of anhidrosis include:

Heatstroke: A condition when the body’s temperature rises above 103° Fahrenheit or more

Heat exhaustion: The onset of elevated heart rate, nausea, or a weakened state following strenuous activity in high temperatures

When specific areas of the body cannot sweat, other regions may overproduce perspiration to compensate for the lack of sweat in the affected areas.

Increased Risk of Secondary Diseases

Burn injuries have been identified as a cause of secondary diseases that may produce a higher rate of mortality. Burns injuries have been affiliated with a sudden increase in stress hormones and inflammatory responses that may contribute to the creation of the following secondary health issues:

  • All types of cancers
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Infectious diseases
  • Cardiovascular system impacts
  • Diabetes’s
  • Changes to the endocrine system and other hormonal changes
  • Compromised nervous system
  • Anxiety and Depression

Financial Complications

Burn injuries are costly to treat and may prevent an individual from working while they recover. Daily costs of treating a burn injury range in the thousands of dollars, with the average treatment total in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to studies. Receiving ongoing care may depend on an individual’s financial ability to pay for medical intervention. The compensation you may be owed for your injuries is critical to covering burn injury treatment costs in Oregon.