Burns may result from any number of activities, such as cooking, grilling, an automobile accident, explosion or product malfunction. The harm they cause varies depending on the severity of the burn.
There are four different degrees of burns. The most minor of these burns are first-degree. The most severe and potentially life-threatening is a fourth-degree burn. You may find it helpful to learn the difference between the degrees of burns.
How the different degrees of burns differ
Let’s look at the symptoms associated with each degree of burn:
- First-degree burns impact the uppermost layer of the skin, called the epidermis. These burns carry with them the least severe symptoms, including pain, redness and mild swelling.
- Second-degree burns: These burns tend to affect the two layers of the skin, the dermis and papillary. These lay just beneath the epidermis. Many patients who suffer from second-degree burns experience blistering, pain, severe swelling and splotchy skin.
- Third-degree burns: These types of burns affect both the dermis and reticular regions of the skin. These burns often take on a white, leathery appearance yet aren’t often accompanied by pain.
- Fourth-degree burns: These burns affect the hypodermis or subcutaneous tissue and often cause charring of a patient’s skin.
First- and second-degree burns generally only impact the uppermost layers of the skin. Third and fourth-degree burns are far more serious in that they not only affect the uppermost layers of the skin but the underlying tissue and nerves as well. The attributes often make third- and fourth-degree burns painful, disabling and life-threatening.
Steps you may want to take after a burn incident
One of the most important steps for you to take after suffering any burn injury is to consult with a doctor to have it checked out.
North Carolina personal injury laws may allow you to hold a negligent party liable for their actions if they resulted in you suffering burn injuries. You may want to continue reading about personal injury incidents and proving liability in burn cases here on our website.