Types of Burn Injuries

May 17, 2021

Burn injuries often result in significant pain and suffering for victims. Additionally, these injuries can lead to scarring and disfigurement that serve as a constant reminder of what happened. Our burn injury attorneys know there are various ways that burn injuries can occur in Martinsburg, West Virginia. This can include vehicle accidents, industrial incidents, exposed electrical wires, faulty construction, shoddy workplace conditions, and more. In addition to the many ways that burn injuries can occur, there are also various types of burn injuries that a person can endure.

Types of Burn Injuries

There are a variety of types of burns that a person can sustain, though many people may not actually know the names of the types of burn injuries we want to list here:

Friction Burns

When an object comes into contact with a person and rubs off part of their skin, this is considered a friction burn. This is actually an abrasion and a heat burn mixed into one type of incident. These burns commonly occur in motorcycle and bicycle accidents.

Thermal Burns

If a person touches a hot object, this will raise the temperature of the affected area to the point that the skin cells begin to die. Some of the most common causes of thermal burns include touching hot metals, scalding liquids, and flames.

Radiation Burns

The most common type of radiation burns that people are familiar with is sunburn. Additionally, other sources of radiation burns include X-rays or radiation therapy used to treat cancer.

Cold Burns

Burns that occur due to extreme cold can be detrimental, and these are typically referred to as “frostbite.” These burns are caused by a person being in freezing temperatures for an extended period of time. These burns can also be caused by touching very cold objects.

Chemical Burns

If a person touches a strong acid, detergent, or other solvent, this can cause their skin to sustain a chemical burn.

Electrical Burns

Anytime a person comes into direct contact with an electrical current, this can cause electrical burns as well as other problems throughout their body, including organ failure and cardiac arrest.

The Degrees of Burn Injuries

Burns are classified according to degrees, which indicate severity. In general, burn injuries are classified from first- to fourth-degree.

First-degree Burn

This is the least severe level of burn injury that can occur and is also called a superficial burn. These burns affect only the outermost layer of skin and usually only result in redness and minor inflammation.

Second-degree Burn

Second-degree burns are more serious because the damage will extend beyond the top layer of skin. When a second-degree burn occurs, this typically causes the skin to blister and become sore and extremely red. In some cases, blisters pop open. Second-degree burns often take weeks to heal, but most individuals recover without any scarring.

Third-degree Burn

Third-degree burns are considered severe, and these cause extended damage through every layer of skin. Third-degree burns often do not cause significant pain right away because they destroy the nerves that typically send pain signals to the brain. Without surgery, these burns can lead to severe scarring. Third-degree burns can be life-threatening, and a person needs to seek medical care immediately.

Fourth-degree Burn

Fourth-degree burns are not always included on the list of “degrees” concerning burn injuries. These burns go through all the layers of skin, into the underlying tissue, and possibly involve muscle and bone. These are life-threatening burns.


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