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5 ways catastrophic burn injuries change a man's life

You've always been the breadwinner at home, and you have made sure to keep up your level of fitness. You work hard and play hard. One thing you never saw coming was an accident that would lead to catastrophic burns. Burn injuries are severe in some cases, leading to life-altering consequences.

Burn injuries result when fire or an explosion reaches the skin. The heat from the flames penetrate the skin, damaging the tissue, muscles and even the bones beneath the surface. Burns don't only come from flames and explosions, though. Some burns, like chemical burns, come from acidic and toxic materials.

Here are 5 ways that your life could change after a burn.

1. After a burn, the skin may no longer exist

When you suffer a burn, your body's first defense is the skin. The skin burns away, leaving the muscles and tissue below open to the air. Once the nerves are burned off, there is no pain, but that doesn't mean damage hasn't been done. You are at a very high risk of infection. Surgery is required in many cases to replace the skin that no longer grows.

2. Your body appears scarred

Probably one of the most noticeable changes after a burn injury is your appearance. The skin is scarred and you may have blisters. Certain parts of the body, like fat or cartilage, may have been destroyed, particularly if your burns are from acid. Socially, this impacts a victim's ability to live normally. Physically, it can impact a person's ego and identity, causing depression, anxiety and other issues.

3. You may not heal

While everyone heals to a degree, severe burns cause some irreparable damage. Full-thickness burns, also known as third-degree burns, heal extremely slowly and poorly without medical intervention. The hair follicles are destroyed, and your epidermis no longer exists. The skin will not grow back.

This also means you may not be able to sweat in the area where the burn occurred. Sweat glands exposed to second- or third-degree burns break down and burn away, meaning the body may easily overheat. Those recovering from burns must avoid working conditions or activities that could lead to overheating in some cases.

4. Your skin's strength changes

Scars are around 20 percent weaker than normal skin. This makes your skin prone to ripping, tearing and infection. This skin is also at a high risk of sunburn, so always wear sunscreen. In some cases, you may find you are now allergic to sunscreen and skin products.

5. You lose sensation

When a burn occurs, the body's nerves suffer damage. Deep burns lead to decreased sensation, although the sense of deep touch, which occurs with heavy pressure, stays. Although much sensation is lost, you may find you struggle to handle extreme temperatures and are sensitive to hot or cold weather.

Living with a catastrophic injury means making changes. If a negligent party lead to your burns, you deserve fair compensation to get the medical help you need now and in the future.

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