A burn is a damage to tissues or traumatic injuries to the skin caused by excessive heat, chemicals, electricity, the sun, or radiation. Many people seek medical attention every day caused of burn accidents. The burns may be either minor injuries that can be easily treated at home using home remedies. At the same time, others that cause severe damage to the skin, bones, and muscles may require serious medical attention.
The type of burn you have is determined by the cause of the burn and how severe your skin has been damaged. Classifying a burn immediately after it happens may prove hard until it progresses after a few days. It can take a day or two days to know the severity of the burn. Burns are therefore classified as first-degree (superficial burns), Second-degree (partial thickness) burns, Third-degree (full thickness) burns, and Fourth-degree burns. The first and second-degree burns may be categorized as minor burns since they cover less than 10% of the body. These minor burns may be healed through home remedies and may not need hospitalization. Second-degree burns are moderate and cover almost 10% of the body, while third-degree burns are considered severe since they cover more than10% of the body.
First-degree (superficial) burns
First-degree burns are mild and affect only the epidermis’s outer layer of skin. The burn site is red, painful, dry, and has no blisters. Mild sunburn is an example. Long-term tissue damage is rare and often consists of increased or decreased skin color. It is rare to experience long-term damage.
Second-degree (partial thickness) burns
Second-degree burns affect the epidermis and part of the lower layer of skin, the dermis. The burned area may appear red, blistered, shiny, wet, swollen, and painful, especially when touched. These types of burns can be categorized into two, superficial second-degree burns, which affect just a part of the dermis and won’t have scarring, and a deep partial thickness burn which may be more severe since it can either leave a scar on your skin or cause a permanent color change on the affected area of the skin.
Third-degree (full thickness) burns
Third-degree burns damage all skin layers, including the epidermis, dermis, and fat. The burns may get into the innermost layer of skin and the subcutaneous tissue and destroy the hair follicles and sweat glands. Since third-degree burns damage the nerve endings, the victim may not experience pain in the burned area but rather adjacent to it. The burned skin may appear white, yellow, blackened, charred, or red with a leathery appearance.
Fourth-degree burns are the deepest and most severe burns. This kind of burn can lead to untimely deaths. They go through both layers of the skin and underlying tissue as well as deeper tissue and tendons, possibly involving muscle and bone.
It is good to note that the degree of burns you experience may change if the damaged skin continues spreading and causing the injury to become deeper. Although some injuries may not require medical expertise, it is advisable to always follow up with the doctor. Some burns may lead to serious complications like infections and bone or joint-related problems.