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The severity of burn injuries is not always immediately evident

On Behalf of | Feb 11, 2021 | Workers' Compensation |

Workers in various industries in San Antonio face burn injury risks. The upcoming National Burn Awareness Week will underscore the importance of learning to recognize the severity of burn injuries. Sometimes, damaged nerve endings mask the pain of third-degree burn injuries, delaying critically necessary medical treatment.

First-degree burns

These are the least serious burn injuries with the following characteristics:

  • Only the epidermis — the outer skin layer — is affected.
  • The skin becomes red and painful, but it remains dry and without blisters.
  • First-degree burns can be treated with over-the-counter medication.

These burns do not typically have long-term consequences. However, burns on the face or major joints would be best treated by a doctor.

Second-degree burns

These burns damage more than the epidermis and are therefore more severe. The following are signs of second-degree burns:

  • The damage extends to the second, or dermis, layer of the skin.
  • The damaged area will be red with blisters.
  • The damaged area will become painful and swollen.
  • Running cool water over the burned area for 10 to 15 minutes might ease the pain.
  • Over-the-counter medication may be sufficient.

Seeing a doctor is advised for burns affecting the face, hands, feet, buttocks, groin or large areas of the skin.

Third-degree burns

These are the most severe injuries that could cause disfigurement or permanent scarring. The following could indicate third-degree burns:

  • Third-degree burns destroy the epidermis and dermis.
  • The burns might extend to damage the subcutaneous tissue.
  • The burned area will appear charred and white.

Prompt medical care at a medical facility or burn center is crucial.

Victims of work-related burn injuries in San Antonio will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Basic compensation typically covers medical expenses and lost wages. However, additional benefits might be paid if burn injuries caused permanent disability.