If you’ve ever had the misfortune of suffering a minor burn while cooking, building a campfire or after coming in contact with certain chemicals, then you know that they can hurt.
What you may not realize is that not all burns are superficial. Individuals who suffer some of the worst types of burns are not only left with visible scarring, but they often suffer from nerve damage and life-altering functional impairments.
How do the four burn types differ?
The least severe, or “mild” burns, are classified as “first-degree” ones. The most serious and potentially life-threatening ones are classed as third and fourth-degree burns.
- First-degree burns: Physicians consider first-degree burns to be relatively minor because they only affect the uppermost skin layer known as the epidermis. Patients often experience localized swelling, pain and redness near the burn site.
- Second-degree burns: These affect a few additional, deeper levels of a patient’s skin, including the papillary and dermis. Common symptoms second-degree burn victims may experience include swelling, skin discoloration, pain and blisters.
- Third-degree burns: These are severe injuries. They affect some of the skin’s deepest levels, including the reticular region and dermis, and often leave a patient with a white, leather-like partial-thickness yet little pain.
- Fourth-degree burns: The absolute worst type of burn is a fourth-degree or full-thickness one. These burns can permeate down to a person’s subcutaneous tissue, including the hypodermis. These burns often result in significant scars and limitations.
The more extensive someone’s burns, the more likely they will suffer permanent disability or death.
What are the primary causes of burns?
Several factors, including chemical exposure, house or building fires, electrical issues and malfunctioning products, can all leave someone with severe burns. If those don’t claim a person’s life, then the associated smoke inhalation or infection might.
It’s a Texas property owner’s responsibility to keep their premises reasonably safe so that they don’t unnecessarily expose their residents, occupants or visitors to potential harm. An attorney may advise you of your right to hold a negligent San Antonio property owner liable for your medical bills as well as other damages if you unnecessarily suffered burns due to their negligence.