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What are the different classifications of burn injuries?

When it comes to injuries that people in Roanoke City might suffer, two of the most frightening words that can be uttered are "burn injuries." Like other severe injuries such as head trauma and back injuries, the aftereffects of a burn injury can be awful. Knowing more about burns can assuage fears if it's something that is not serious, or help prepare the person for what they're confronted with on the road to recovery, if it is serious.

The amount of tissue damage will dictate whether the burn is categorized in the first, second, third or fourth degree. Naturally, the different stages of burns will require different treatment strategies ranging from doing very little to having to go through major surgical procedures. The first-degree burn is considered minor. It affects what is called the epidermis, also known as the skin's outer layer. There might be a red discoloration or some pain, but sunburn is a perfect example of this type of burn and it's not considered serious.

A second-degree burn affects the outer layer and the second layer, also known as the dermis. There could be swelling along with the pain and redness. This might appear to be moist and damp. There can be blisters and pain. If the burn is deep, scarring is possible.

With a third-degree burn, the burn reaches the layer of fat beneath the dermis. The skin will be tan, take the look of leather, be waxy white or stiff. Nerves can be damaged or destroyed with third-degree burns and the victim might become numb.

A fourth-degree burn is the most serious kind of burn a person can suffer. Not only will the skin be damaged, but bones and muscles will be as well. There could be a blackening or charring of the skin. The person who suffers this level of burn might not feel pain because the nerves have been destroyed.

The range of problems that a person can suffer from after being burned can vary. If the burns occurred due to another's negligence, it's possible to pursue a legal action for compensation. Seeking legal help from an advocate experienced in burn cases is the first step.

Source: MayoClinic.org, "Burns Symptoms," accessed on March 31, 2015

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