Different Types and Degrees of Burn Injuries
Burns can be some of the most painful. Burns stemming from flames, steam, heated liquids and other hot objects are classified as heat or thermal burns. Radiation burns can be caused by the sun's rays, in a tanning booth, from an x-ray or as a result of radiation therapy. When an individual is exposed to extremely cold temperatures, he or she may experience a cold temperature burn such as frostbite. Electrical burns can happen in instances where an individual touches an exposed wire or electrical outlet. Lightning can also cause electrical burns. Chemical burns can be caused by an improper use of swimming pool chemicals, household chemicals and even some foods may cause a burning sensation or irritation to the skin.
Burns are generally classified by "degrees." The severity of any burn injury will depend heavily on the intensity of the heat or cold, the duration of the exposure and numerous other factors. The majority of burns are 1st degree burns. This type of burn only damages the topmost layer of the skin and will usually require minor treatment as can be delivered at home with a topical ointment or band-aid. A burn that does damage to the underlying layer found directly beneath the skin is a 2nd degree burn. This type of burn is known for causing blisters and an extreme amount of pain. A 3rd degree burn goes even deeper below the skin's surface and may lead to nerve damage, infection or the need for skin-grafts to repair permanent deterioration of the skin. In extreme cases, as commonly found with 4th degree burns, urgent medical attention may be needed to help prevent further injury, avoid amputation and attempt to repair any permanent damage or disfigurement.