When it comes to burn injuries, contact with direct flames, exposure to chemicals, or contact with exposed electrical wiring are all common causes. While first and second-degree burns are often minor and typically require minimal medical care, third-degree burns can cause serious effects, including loss of life.
These injuries are also associated with a greater risk of complications. These complications will have a lasting impact on your life, possibly even impairing mobility and requiring ongoing medical treatment.
What are third-degree burns?
First-degree burns only affect the outer layer of skin, while second-degree burns impact the first and second layers. With third-degree burns, the damage extends down through the first and second layers to reach the fatty layer beneath the skin. Some burns can extend even deeper to damage muscles and bones in addition to skin layers. While less serious, widespread second-degree burns are also quite damaging when affecting a majority of the body or being present on the face, groin, hands, or feet.
What are the possible effects of these burn injuries?
Immediate medical attention is required for serious burns. This is due to their severe effects, including hypovolemia, which occurs when blood volume is dangerously low. Low blood volume also leads to shock, a condition that can result in possible organ damage due to a lack of oxygen. Other risks associated with severe burns include sepsis, a bacterial infection of the bloodstream.
When it comes to long-term complications, tightening of the skin caused by scar tissue restricts mobility. In this case, a skin graft may be used to improve function. Skin grafts are performed using your own skin, but donor skin may be used depending on the area in need of treatment.