Burns and Scars Injury Lawyer in Little Rock Arkansas
Burns and scars can have a serious and long term impact on one’s life. A burn is when the body part is subjected to extreme conditions and results in dead tissue, whereas a scar is part of the healing process, wound repair when fibrous tissue replaces normal tissue after an injury. Burns usually produce subsequent scarring but scars appear after all sorts of conditions such as cuts or acne. Burns produce changes in the skin color (pink, red, white, brown and black), may result in blisters and come with (extreme) pain in the burned area.
Types of burns
Burns are classified as first through fourth-degree burns.
- First-degree burn (superficial burn) is when only the outer layer of the skin is damaged producing a red and sensitive skin with little or no scarring.
- A second-degree burn (partial thickness burns) damages the outer layer and the underlying layer and creates blisters in the affected area.
- In case of a burn of third-degree (full-thickness burn), the trauma goes through the first two layers and damages the third layer resulting in charring of the skin and extensive scarring.
- A fourth-degree burn extends to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Types of scarring
There are many forms of scarring:
- keloid scars (thick, itchy scar tissue obtained during an aggressive healing process and extends beyond the injury),
- contracture scars (tightening of the skin and may impair mobility and affect muscles and nerves),
- hypertrophic scars (red scars that are similar to keloids but remain within the injured area),
- atrophic scars (sunken skin part due to underlying structure damage),
- (the skin is stretched or under pressure during healing), and
- acne (comes from acne and generates scarring ranging from deep pits to wavelike shapes).
Causes of burns
As surprising as it may, burns are caused by more than the obvious heat. The heat can be dry, such as fire, or wet such as steam of hot fluids. Other causes are radiation (sun or radiation therapy), hot objects (cooking pots), extreme cold, inhaling smoke or toxic fumes, electricity as well as chemicals.
Causes of scars
Any irregularity on the skin may result in scarring. Some examples are: injuries from car accidents, motorcycle accident, slip and fall, etc; open wounds such as those obtained during a deep burn or a torn tissue; surgical incisions; physical assaults during fights or in combat; attacks by animals such as dogs; sores as well as acne; and infections such as chickenpox.
Treating burn injuries should be left for the professionals unless it is first or second-degree burns. Also, burns of any kind due to chemicals, cover an area larger than the palm, situated on the joints, face, hand, groin or the airways should not be treated at home. First-aid should be performed by removing clothing and jewelry from the affected area, brushing away (powder) chemicals, if any, and flooding the burned area with cool water. First degree burns can be handled using home remedies such as ointments and creams (make sure not to pop the blisters). Scars are treated mostly by professionals via surgery (laser or traditional) or injection of steroids.
Burns and scars statistics
There are as many as 2 million burns annually in the US of which 10,000 or so are children. Young children, aged 1-2, suffer mostly from hand burns, and those aged 3-17 get burned by fire. As many as 10,000 burn victims die each year and about 1 million suffer disabilities of varying degrees. Burn injuries induced deaths are the second cause of death after motor vehicle collisions. Death by fire is caused mostly by inhaling smoke (70%) versus burns (30%). As to acne, the statistics is scary: about 60 million Americans have active acne, 20 million of which is bad enough to cause scars, 85% of teenagers contribute to the acne statistics, 25% of them will have permanent scars.
What shall I do?
Seek medical attention for injuries and burns even if it may appear mild. Promptly applied first aid can avoid blistering or other complications later: keep the wound clean by using sterilized cotton, apply the cream at room temperature, immerse the burned area in cool water, cover cuts and burns with sterile gauze bandage, and if your clothing catches on fire, follow a simple drill called stop, drop and roll: drop to the floor and roll or roll back and forth (if a blanket is available, then roll in a blanket to put out the fire faster).
What mistakes shall I avoid?
Do not use ice for burn injuries as it may cause additional damage; do not remove cloths stuck to the burned area; never apply ice, butter, fluffy cotton, adhesive bandages or oil spray directly on the burned area for severe burns; do not contaminate burns by breathing or coughing on it; do not pop any blisters; do not expose new scars to the sun; and do not ignore scars that become raised, itchy or red.
How to prevent burns and scars?
To prevent burns, educate your children and family members about fire and flammable materials. Cover all cuts and do not let them dry out by keeping the area moist with petroleum jelly. To prevent scars from popping out, place the cut under pressure, and once there is newly formed skin, massage the area in a circular pattern a few times a day for about 20 seconds. Abnormal scars are best prevented by using silicone gel sheets. Although it is recommended to expose yourself to the sun regularly for a short period of time each day (30 minutes), too much exposure can be quite harmful. If you have babies or small children, it is critical to control and double-check the temperature of food as well as bath water (never feed the baby with anything that you have not tested before).
Some legal advice
Burns and scars that are the products of negligence call for legal representation by your personal injury lawyer. You may be eligible for compensation for the usual medical expenses, loss of income, disability, plus you may get additional compensation for disfigurement and emotional distress. Your injuries may come from motor vehicle accidents (for example, windshield lacerations), road burns, house fire, work related accidents, exploding appliances (product liability), or a dog bite form the neighbor’s dog. Please contact our Little Rock, AR burn and scars lawyer for a free consultation.