How Common Is Nerve Damage from a Burn Injury?

Burn injuries can be incredibly painful for victims. Depending on the severity of the burn, it can take months or even years for a victim to reach maximum medical improvement. Notice that we did not say “full recovery.” That is because burn injury victims are often not able to return to the same state they were in before the injury occurred.

One common consequence of burn injuries is that they can disrupt or partially damage the nerves. The symptoms of burn injury nerve damage typically consist of pain, numbness, burning, tingling, and weakness. This can also cause sensitivity to touch.

In some cases, burn injuries are so severe that there is no pain at all right away. This is a sign that the burn severely damaged the nerves. For third- and fourth-degree burns that severely damage or destroy nerve endings, a patient may feel no pain at all at the actual burn site.

  • A first-degree burn only affects the outer layer of skin, and a victim may only experience minor irritation and likely no nerve damage.
  • A second-degree burn can affect the outer layer as well as the dermis, or the layer underneath the outer layer of skin. This can result in red and swollen skin that will likely blister and painful to touch. These burns typically do not leave any lasting nerve damage for victims.
  • A third-degree burn is usually referred to as a “full-thickness burn” that completely destroys two full layers of skin. This type of burn can certainly impact a person’s nerves.
  • A fourth-degree burn is considered the most severe type of burn. This is a deep burn that can destroy skin, muscles, tendons, and even bones. This type of burn typically destroys nerves around the burn site.

What are the noticeable effects of nerve pain?

It may seem like a rhetorical question to ask how nerve pain will affect a victim. Clearly, no burn victim wants to experience pain or any other physiological effects of nerve damage. However, deep, constant, and chronic pain can also affect a burn victim’s psychological and emotional well-being. Severe burns and the associated nerve damage can lead to a person experiencing depression, anxiety disorders, and even suicidal thoughts. If this severe nerve damage is coupled with significant scarring or disfigurement, the mental effects could be amplified.

What types of treatment work for nerve damage pain after a burn?

There may be various types of treatment associated with handling nerve pain in the aftermath of a burn injury. Treating nerve pain early in the process reduces the risk of more significant and permanent damage to the nerves. Some of the most common treatments associated with these injuries include:

  • Pain medication (over the counter and prescription)
  • Anti-inflammatory medications
  • Anticonvulsant and antidepressant drugs
  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • Physical therapy and massage therapy
  • Relaxation methods, including meditation, yoga, and breathing exercises

Working with an attorney after a burn injury

If you or a loved one have sustained a burn injury caused by the careless or negligent actions of somebody else, you may need to work with an attorney in order to secure compensation for your injuries. Treating burn injuries, particularly the long-lasting effects associated with nerve pain, can be incredibly expensive. Victims should be able to recover full compensation for their losses from the negligent party in these cases. A skilled Miami burn injury lawyer will be able to help you get through this process.