Posted: February 16, 2017

Burn injuries may be caused by a variety of factors, and they have a varying level of physical and psychological impact on victims. While most people in Indiana have experienced a minor burn at some point in their lives, some endure more severe injuries which have a profound effect on their future. According to Heathline, there are four levels of burns. First- and second-degree burns result in irritation, pain and inconvenience, but they can generally be treated at home. These burns typically heal within a matter of days with little to no long-lasting effect. It should be noted, however, that all burn injuries have the potential to develop infection, possibly even tetanus. Therefore, every burn should be treated carefully.

Third-degree burns, which create a white, leathery appearance on the skin, require medical attention. Fourth-degree burns extend beyond the surface of the skin into the bones or tendons. These more serious cases may sometimes need extensive medical intervention such as skin grafting or reconstructive surgery. Although more severe burns do not always cause more intense pain (due to the dying of nerve cells), going to see a medical professional is vital after a severe injury takes place.

One troubling potential effect of burn injury is psychological trauma, according to Phoenix Society. Suffering a major burn may cause post-traumatic stress in some people. One sign of this condition is a drastic change in demeanor. A burn victim who no longer engages in activities or social surroundings which he or she previously enjoyed may be strugling with the emotional trauma of the injury. It may also require a temporary separation from the place in which the burn took place, in order to provide time for processing the event and dealing with an altered life after injury. However a particular victim responds, loved ones should recognize that the time needed for recovery may extend well beyond the healing of the physical wound.

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