You possibly know that there are first, second, third and fourth-degree burns, but everyone knows how to tell the difference. It is not difficult to tell which burn you have. This article illustrates how the four types of burn look like; from a shallow burn to a deep burn. Read through so that you know what you are looking for when differentiating a burn.
What is burn and its types?
- 1 What is burn and its types?
- 2 Burns classification and treatment
- 3 What does a 2nd-degree burn look like?
- 4 Complications of burns
Classification of burns
Burns is one of the most common homestead injuries and specifically among children. The word burn implies more than burning feeling linked with an injury. Burns are categorized by severe skin damage that affects the skin causing cells to die. Most people can recover from burns without severe health issues, depending on the cause and the degree of injury. More severe burns require immediate emergency medical care to prevent complications and death.
Common causes of burns
Flames are the top common cause of burns, but there are many other causes of burns:
Burns resulting from friction
When something hard rubs off some of the skin, a person gets a friction burn. It is both a heat and scrape burn. Friction burns are more common in motorcycle and bike accidents. Carpet burn is also classified as a friction burn.
Cold burns damage your skin by freezing it. A person can get a cold burn by being outside in freezing temperatures. A cold burn can also occur when your skin comes into direct contact with an object that is very cold for an extended period.
Direct contact with a very hot object raises the temperature of your skin to the point that the skin cells start dying. Extremely hot metals, flames, and scalding liquids can all cause thermal burns. Steam can also cause thermal burns.
Burns resulting from radiation
One type of radiation burn is sunburn. Other radiation types include X-rays or radiation therapy to treat cancer can also result in this.
Strong acids, solvents or detergents that touch your skin can cause it to burn.
If an individual comes into direct contact with an electrical current, they get this type of burn.
Burns classification and treatment
There are three main types of burns- first, second and third degree. Every degree is based on the severity of the skin damage, with first level burn being the most minor and third level being the most severe. Skin damage includes:
There is also the fourth-degree burns. This type of burn includes all the signs of a third-degree burn and also extends beyond the skin into tendons and bones. The degree of burn is not based on the cause of it. Scalding, for instance, can cause all the four types of burn, depending on liquid hotness and the period it stays in contact with the skin. Beware that for chemical, and electrical burns warrant immediate medical attention because they can affect the inside of the body, even if the skin damage is first degree.
The first-degree burn results in minimal skin damage. The first-degree burn is also known as superficial burns since they affect the epidermis. Symptoms of first-degree burn include:
Since this burn affects the epidermis, the signs and symptoms disappear once the skin cells shed. This type of burn usually heals within seven to ten days without scarring. However, you should still see a doctor if the burn affects a large area of the skin (more than three inches) and if the burn affects the face or a major joint which include; Knee, ankle, spine, foot, shoulder, elbow and forearm.
1st degree burns treatment
The first-degree burn is typically treated with home care. The healing time may be faster the sooner you treat the burn. The following are the treatments for a first-degree burn:
2nd degree burns
Second-degree burns are more severe since the damage extends beyond the epidermis. This type of skin causes the skin to blister and become extremely red and sore. Some blisters pop open, giving the burn awet or weeping appearance. Thick, soft, and scab-like tissue exudate may develop over the wound. We will discuss more second-degree burn signs appearance and treatment in the next section.
3rd degree burns
Without fourth-degree burns, third-degree burns are the most severe. They result in the most damage, extending through every layer of skin. There is a myth that the third-degree burns are the most painful. Nevertheless, with this type of burn, the damage is so extensive that there may be no pain because of nerve damage. Dependent on the cause, the signs of third-degree burns can appear as:
3rd-degree burns treatment
These burns heal with severe scarring and contracture if they heal without surgery. There is no specified time for complete healing for third-degree burns. Do not treat a third-degree burn at home, instead call 911 or go to the emergency room immediately. While you are waiting for medical treatment, raise the injury above your heart. Do not get undressed, but make sure no clothing is stuck to the burn.
Fourth degree burn is the most severe degree of burn affecting structures such as muscle, tendons, and bones. A fourth-degree burn involves nerve damage in which no physical pain may be experienced. The difference between a third and fourth-degree burn is the amount of tissue destroyed below the skin. A third-degree burn might expose the fatty tissue below the dermis. A fourth-degree burn, however, may expose muscle tissue and even bone.
4th-degree burn treatment
Treatment of 4th-degree burn involves surgery. A person may have to change their lifestyle especially clothing to adjust to the burn.
What should I do if I suffer 3rd or 4th degree burns?
If you suffer 3rd or 4th-degree burn, you can:
What does a 2nd-degree burn look like?
2nd Degree burns and treatment
The 2nd-degree burn is a partial thickness burn which affects the epidermis and the dermis- lower layer of the skin. They cause pain, redness, swelling and blistering. As a result of the delicate nature of these wounds, keeping the burned area clean and covering it with a bandage is necessary to prevent infection. This will also help the burn to heal quicker.
2nd degree burns healing stages
Most of the second-degree burns take longer than three weeks to heal, and others take two to three weeks without scarring, but frequently with pigment changes to the skin.
The adverse the blisters are, the longer the burn will take to heal. In some circumstances, skin grafting is needed to fix the damage. Skin grafting involves taking healthy skin from another area of the body and moves it to the burned area.
Similar to first degree burns, avoid cotton balls and questionable home treatments. Treatments for minor, second-degree burn typically include
Complications of burns
Compared with the first and the second-degree burns, the third degree has more risks for complications such as infections, blood loss and anxiety or shock which could cause death. However, all the burns have risks of infections because bacteria can invade the broken skin.
Tetanus can also be a possible complication with burns of all degrees. Tetanus is a bacterial infection. It affects the nervous system, eventually causing problems with muscle contractions. Beware that all degrees of burns come with the risk of hypothermia. Extreme low body temperatures characterize hypothermia. While this may appear like an unexpected complication of a burn, the problem is triggered by severe loss of body heat from an injury. Hypovolemia occurs when the body loses too much blood from a burn.
Severe burns come with many effects; some burn victims lose the ability to sweat in burned areas of their body. This means the body cannot cool itself and they must be restricted from many kinds of physical activity. Other complications include; scarring, emotional trauma and damage to other parts of the body.
Managing burns pain
Burn pain can be one of the most intense and prolonged kinds of pain. Burn pain is challenging to manage since it has unique characteristics, its transforming trends, and its various components. Besides, there is pain involved in the treatment of burns, as the wounds must be cleansed and the dressings changed. Studies show that aggressive therapies for pain are required with severe burns.
Preventing 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th degrees burns
The first way to fight burns is to prevent them from happening. Various jobs put you at a higher risk for burns, but the fact is that most burns occur all the time. Infants and young children are the most prone to burns. Preventive measures you can take to avoid all degrees of burn include: