The severity of your burn will determine the extent of medical assistance you will require to resume a normal life after your burn injury. Burns are broken down by degree:
• First-degree burns affect only the outer layer of your skin
• Second-degree burns go below the outer layer into the superficial dermis
• Third-degree burns extend into all layers of your dermis
• Fourth-degree burns go beyond dermis to impact muscles, tissues, and bone
First and second-degree burns are often quite painful, but may require only minimal medical treatment. Third- and fourth-degree burns can do extensive nerve damage and can, therefore, be painless. The medical treatments required for these types of burns will be extensive and quite expensive. In some cases, serious burns can also impact your ability to sweat, creating additional medical concerns. In every case, scarring and other indications of the injury will remain for a lifetime.
Medical treatment for burns may include hospitalization, physical therapy, compression garments, skin grafts, and dermabrasion. These costly medical procedures can have a serious impact on your pocketbook during a time when your injuries may also prevent you from working.