What Are the Types and Degrees of Burns?

Burn injuries can occur in a wide variety of ways, and they are sometimes caused by the careless or negligent actions of others. Any person who sustains a burn injury caused by someone else should be able to recover compensation for their losses. Here, we want to look at various types of burns and how burns are classified according to severity.

What are the Burn Classifications?

When we examine information available from the University of Rochester Medical Center, we can see that burns are classified in various ways, ranging from first-degree burns to fourth-degree burns.

  • First-degree burn. This is also considered a superficial burn and only affects the outer layer of skin, known as the dermis. The burn site will typically be red, painful, and dry, but there will likely not be any blisters. Mild sunburns or an example of a first-degree burn.
  • Second-degree burn. A second-degree burn involves the upper epidermis as well as part of the lower layer of skin, called the dermis. The burn site will again look red and be painful, but it will also likely be blistered, and it could be swollen.
  • Third-degree burn. A third-degree burn will destroy both the epidermis and the dermis, and it may go into the innermost layer of skin, called the subcutaneous tissue. The burn site could look white or black and have a sort of charred appearance. Individuals with third-degree burns are at a higher risk of sustaining an infection.
  • Fourth-degree burn. Fourth-degree burns are the most severe type of burn a person can sustain, and they will go through all of the layers of skin and into the underlying tissue. Deeper tissue, including the muscle and bone, could also be involved with a fourth-degree burn. There will usually not be any feeling in the immediate area of the burn because the nerve endings are destroyed. The infection risk with a fourth-degree burn is incredibly high, and a likely probability.

Types of Burns That can Occur

Burns can occur in a wide variety of ways, and they must all or save proper medical care as soon as possible in order to promote healing and prevent infection.

  • Friction burns. These types of burns occur when an object comes into contact with a person and causes a part of their skin to rub off. A friction burn is actually a more severe abrasion along with a heat burn mixed into the same type of incident. These burns are common with bicycle and motorcycle accidents.
  • Thermal burns. A thermal burn occurs if a person touches a hot object. This will raise the temperature of the affected skin to the point where the skin cells will die. These burns occur most commonly with touching flames, hot liquids, and hot metals.
  • Radiation burns. The most common type of radiation burns that individuals know about are burns caused by the sun. Additionally, radiation burns can happen as a result of X-rays or radiation therapy used to treat various cancers.
  • Cold burns. Burn can also occur as a result of the extreme cold, and individuals have usually heard this referred to as frostbite. These types of burns are caused by a person being exposed to frozen temperatures for extended periods of time. Additionally, a cold burn can be caused by touching an incredibly cold object for a short period of time.
  • Chemical burns. If an individual touches a strong detergent, acid, or other type of solvent, this can lead to a chemical burn on the skin.
  • Electrical burns. When individuals come into contact with a direct electrical current, this can lead to electrical burns as well as various problems within a person’s body, including cardiac arrest or organ failure.

Call us today to speak with a Portland burn injury lawyer.