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Burn injuries can affect more than the skin

Anyone in California may suffer a burn, whether from a hot surface, a chemical, an electric shock or some other source. In a car accident, any of these types of burns are possible. Any burn, even those that affect only the outer layer of skin, may be extremely painful. When burns are more serious, the effects can be both physically and emotionally devastating.

Johns Hopkins Medicine notes that burn injuries are painful because of the many nerve endings that are in the skin, especially in the dermis. When the burn affects this second layer of skin, it is known as a partial thickness burn, and generally, it causes swelling, redness and blistering. A full thickness burn destroys the dermis and the nerve endings within it, so the burn victim may not feel pain. Signs of a full thickness burn include white or charred looking skin around the injury, and burns to the structures beneath the skin.

Burns are not only painful, they are also dangerous. The skin’s role is to shield internal organs and the body’s structure from the world around it. The skin also regulates body temperature, stores water and prevents dehydration. When a burn destroys the skin, it exposes the body to bacteria and infections, and it can also lead to hypothermia.

According to the Mayo Clinic, burn treatments may include the following:

  • Surgeries
  • Ultrasound mist therapy
  • Intravenous fluids and antibiotics
  • Specialty wound dressings
  • Topical creams and ointments
  • Tetanus shot

In addition to the initial treatment, a burn victim may need skin grafts and physical and occupational therapy to restore mobility. Experts recommend support groups for people who are struggling with the aftermath of serious burns.

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