In the U.S., about half a million Americans seek medical care for burns every year. Many of these burns can occur due to motor vehicle accidents due to contact with steam from the radiator, hot metal or contact with other hot elements.
When it comes to burns, there are three classifications, ranging from mild to the most severe.
What are first-degree burns?
First-degree burns are the mildest and typically do not require any medical attention. They only affect the top layer of skin, turning it red and painful. First-degree burns do not develop into blisters.
What are second-degree burns?
A second-degree burn is a moderate injury. It affects the top and lower layers of your skin. If you suffer from a third-degree burn, the site will be painful. You may notice redness, swelling and blisters may form.
What are third-degree burns?
The most severe burns affect each layer of skin, from the outer layer to the fat beneath your skin. Third-degree burns can also damage your sweat glands and hair follicles. Since severe burns can result in nerve damage, you may not feel pain and your skin may turn black, white, red or leathery.
Third-degree burns are the most likely to cause complications. Some complications can include heart rhythm disturbances, dehydration, pneumonia, edema and low blood pressure. Additionally, third-degree burns are more likely to result in severe infection or sepsis.
The most severe burns may require you to undergo physical or occupational therapy to maintain or improve your mobility.