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What is the healing time for a burn?

You're trapped in a car after an accident. While you're only stuck for five minutes, until the authorities arrive and pull you out, the car starts on fire. You suffer a number of burns, which are the worst of your injuries.

Now you're wondering how long these are going to take to heal. This can be a painful time, both physically and emotionally, and you're looking for answers.

Those answers do depend on the severity of the burn. For instance, a first-degree burn only impacts the epidermis, which is the outermost layer of your skin. You probably have minor pain and the area looks red. That should heal in a week. Some experts put the range between three and six days.

A second-degree burn gets down into the second layer of your skin, which is known as the dermis. You'll see swelling and higher pain levels. The skin will blister. This can take 14 to 21 days to heal. You may even need extensive treatments, like skin grafts, in the worst cases.

Third-degree burns encompass everything else, and they can be very significant. You may see charring and large portions of skin will be killed. Nerve endings may also die. Pain levels depend on the extent of the damage. They may be the worst, but, when damage is so bad that nerves are killed, pain can actually be reduced.

The time it takes a third-degree burn to heal differs from case to case. It can take quite a long time and require extensive treatment. Some burns never fully heal, as the scars and discoloration will always remain.

Burn injuries can be very expensive and they can significantly impact your quality of life. Be sure you know what legal rights you may have to seek out compensation.

Source: UC Irvine Health, "Burn FAQ," accessed Nov. 08, 2017

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