Burns are painful, frightening, and annoying to treat. Unfortunately, they are also fairly common, and most people will experience at least one burn injury during their lifetime. If you’re armed with the right knowledge and cautionary tales, however, you’ll be much less likely to experience a burn. Avoiding serious burn injuries is especially crucial, as they can be life-threatening, and lead to life-long injuries or conditions that will severely affect your quality of life.
The Four Types Of Burns:
Before diving into common causes of burn injuries, knowing the difference between different levels of burn severity is important. Knowing the difference can help you determine if you need medical attention when you get burned, and just how serious the damage you’re experiencing may be. There are four types/severity levels of burns that you should know about:
First-degree burns tend to be considered superficial because they are not directly penetrating your skin’s outermost layer. That being said, first-degree burns remain painful and can cause disturbing reddening of the skin that may take a while to go away. That being said, first-degree burns rarely cause lasting damage, and can often be treated at home using first-aid techniques. Unless you feel that a serious infection or other consequence may be arising from a first-degree burn, they will be unlikely to require immediate medical attention. Practicing healthy skincare routines can help you treat first-degree burns successfully as well.
Although it does not commonly cause irreversible damage, second-degree burns are still extremely painful in many cases and require immediate medical attention. These burns go beyond the outer layer of your skin and begin to penetrate the more delicate lower layer in a way that can cause redness, blistering, swelling, and other painful conditions to arise. Many harsh, but not extreme, cases of sunburn fall into this category.
Third-degree burns are serious and can cause serious side effects that can even become deadly. A third-degree burn completely penetrates beneath your skin and causes serious, sometimes irreversible tissue damage. Charred skin and numb, nerve-ending-damaging effects are commonly caused by third-degree burns. Third-degree burns urgently require immediate medical attention.
Fourth-degree burns are the most serious and typically penetrate beneath the skin in a way that begins affecting the muscle, bone, and nerves. These burns will require immediate hospitalization and extensive physical therapy to overcome. Only the most intense and dangerous burn injuries are classified as fourth-degree burns.
Now that you’re educated on the types of burns, it’s now time to learn about several of the most common causes of burn injuries. Each of these four causes is linked to activities that can affect everyday people, so you must understand what risky situations and devices you should avoid:
1. Radiation Burns
Burns caused by energy, ionizing radiation, microwave energy, and ultraviolet light are all classified as radiation burns. These burns are typically linked to radiation therapy, or improperly controlled or maintained mechanical devices in workplaces. These burns tend to be intensely serious and will cause lasting damage in most cases. They are also the type of burn that will increase the likelihood of you developing cancer.
2. Electrical Burns
Electricity is extremely hot. The currents that provide power can easily fry your skin if you come into contact with a wire or other openly exposed source of electricity. The severity of these burns can vary greatly, but if you experience exposure to a serious level of electrical current, you can experience third and fourth-degree burns that will require immediate medical attention.
3. Surgery Burns
One of the more serious, but less common causes of burn injury on this list, surgical burns occur when tools used for surgery cause unintentional burns. Because these burns are often internal, they are far more serious and can lead to medical malpractice lawsuits and other burn injury-related lawsuits as well.
4. Thermal Burns
Thermal burns are the absolute most common type of burn injury, and occur when you’re exposed to extreme heat on a surface, or from a direct flame. Workers who deal with machinery or open flames can sometimes find themselves at risk of thermal burns. When at home, the most common cause of thermal burns is related to cooking accidents.
Stay Safe and Be Vigilant
To ensure you are not severely burned in the future, it’s crucial that you stay out of dangerous situations, and that you always consider how prolonged exposure to the sun is affecting your body. Even minor burns are painful and frustrating, so knowing how to avoid them at all costs is key. Especially since burns can lead to other major health complications, you must do your best to stay safe and vigilant.