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Did you Know (DYK)–there are really six degrees of burns

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Burns are categorized in terms of the degree of the burn.  Each degree of burn relates to the increased severity of the burn.  You’ve surely heard of horrible third degree burns but did you know that there were six degrees of burns?

First degree burns are fairly minor, second degree burns move from the outer skin into the dermis, and third degree burns penetrate through the dermis, burning away all the skin tissue, and into the muscle.  The remaining three degrees of burns are catastrophic.

Fourth degree burns damage every layer of the skin, hair follicles, sweat glands, as well as the underlying muscle, tendon and ligament and the bones.  Fourth degree burns are most often fatal.  Skin grafting is important if a victim survives a fourth degree burn.

5th degree burns are the ones in which everything up to the bone is burnt. This means all skin, muscle ligaments, and tendons are damaged. The bone might even be damaged. Although these are almost impossible to survive, the only treatment for survivors is amputation.

6th degree burns are usually diagnosed at the time of autopsy. In these burns, even the bone is charred. It’s considered nearly impossible for humans to suffer these burns, death is almost always inevitable unless for instance, a limb was affected and the rest of the body was protected from the heat source.  In those cases, amputation of the affected part would be compulsory if by a miracle a person happened to survive a fifth or sixth degree burn.  Of coures, this is not the likely outcome of these kinds of super severe burns.