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Degrees of Burn Injuries: Alabama Fire Injury Attorneys can Help


The four types of burns, according to Advanced and Healthline, are first-degree, second-degree, third-degree and fourth-degree burns. For a burn larger than three inches in diameter and second-degree or higher in severity, it is advised to let medical professionals handle all care.

First-degree burns and some second-degree burns that are less than three inches in diameter can be treated as follows:

  • Soak in cool water.
  • Do not use ice, as this can hinder healing and cause frostbite.
  • Use mild soap to clean the area.
  • Wrap clean area loosely.

The levels of burns and their symptoms are:

  • First-degree burns impact the outermost portion of the skin and will display redness with minor irritation, swelling, peeling skin and usually heal within seven to 10 days. Sun burns are a common form of a first-degree burn.
  • Second-degree burns (partial thickness burns) include damage that extends beyond the top layer of skin, causing skin to blister and become red and sore. Blisters on second-degree burns may pop open and appear weepy. For this reason, it is important to keep the area clean. Second-degree burns are incredibly painful but typically heal within two to three weeks.
  • Third-degree burns (full thickness burns) have a waxy, leathery appearance and extend through every layer of skin. There is no set timeline for healing for third-degree burns. These types of burns require a skin grafting procedure and will always result in scarring and disfigurement to some extent. While not as painful as second-degree burns due to destruction of nerves, these are still very painful burns. Skin could become numb with this level of burn.
  • Fourth-degree burns extend through the entire skin and into underlying fat, muscle and bone. The appearance is black and charred. These burns are the most extensive, can be fatal and will result in significant disfigurement. A fourth-degree burn will require extensive surgery.
A few symptoms that you may have burns that need attention are as follows:
  • You have blister on the skin.
  • You have pain. (This is not necessarily related to the degree of burn, as higher degree burns are often less painful due to numbing skin.)
  • Your skin is red and irritated.
  • You may be in shock with higher degree burns. This could include being pale, clammy, weak, having blue lips, and swelling.
  • You may have white or charred skin in more severe burns.

Should you or a family member suffer from a burn and believe you are entitled to compensation due to the negligence or carelessness of another party, please be sure you seek medical attention first. This is for your obvious well being and also to provide much-needed documentation to your attorney for your claim or case. Without this documentation showing an initial diagnosis and progression of your treatment, your case will be much more difficult. Once you have consulted and established a relationship with a medical professional, contact the Alabama burn injury attorneys at Hollis, Wright, Clay and Vail, P.C. at 205.324.3600 or 844.LAW.TALK for a free consultation. You may also contact us here. Our caring, thorough and experienced attorneys are ready to help.

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