Burn Injury Recovery: No Easy Fix
There are many types of injuries a person may receive during their life journey, but a severe burn injury is one of the most devastating. Severe burns are painful and can be permanently disfiguring. Recovering from even minor burns can take weeks or months.
Types of Burn Injury
There are three types of burns: first degree, second degree, and third degree. All burns are painful, but the more severe the burn, the more painful it is and the longer it takes to heal.
First degree burns are the least severe. These burns damage the epidermis, or outer layer of skin. First degree burns can be painful, and they may redden the skin, but they are also the least likely to leave a scar. Minor burns like this usually heal within a week.
The outer layer of skin and the inner layer, called the dermis, are both affected when a person has a second degree burn. If you ever had a burn that caused a blister, you most likely experienced a second degree burn. These burns are also painful and, unlike minor burns, may leave a scar. Second degree burns can take up to three weeks to heal completely.
The most severe type of burn is the third degree burn. This is a very deep burn that affects not only both layers of skin, but also deeper tissues, such as tendons and bones. Third degree burns can also damage nerves. The skin may turn white or black and be scarred after healing. These burns are difficult to heal and often require skin grafts.
A person sustaining third degree burns may be hospitalized for days or months, depending on the situation. Scars left by this type of burn may require several surgeries. A temporary skin graft may be used to cover the burn area at the beginning of the healing process.
Healing in Phases
Healing severe burns happens in phases. The first is healing the wound. The area must be kept clean and dressings must be changed on a regular basis. As the skin begins to heal over the open wound, it will look lighter in color.
The second phase is when scars begin to form. The healed wound has thicker, raised skin, and it looks darker. These changes take place over a few months. Rehabilitation helps lessen scarring. Pressure garments may be worn to help. Stretching exercises and massaging the area may decrease stiffness.
Accepting the New Normal
Living with scars from severe burns can be challenging. People may stare or want to ask questions. Remember, it is your choice whether to talk about what happened. Some days you will be more open for discussion than others, and that’s okay.
Recovery from severe burns takes time. Healing is not only physical, it is also psychological and emotional. Give yourself time to recover. Be willing to ask for what you need, whether it is support, a listening ear, or space and silence.
There are a variety of accidents that cause burns. If you or a loved one have experienced personal injury through the negligence or action of another person, the attorneys at Tison Law Group in Tampa, FL, may be able to help. Call to schedule a complimentary initial consultation. We fight with integrity and honesty for the benefit of our clients. Contact us today for information.