Posted on Burn Injury Blog / Blog / Do Electrical Burns Leave Scars?

Page Updated 12/11/2021

Do Electrical Burns Leave Scars?


Electricity has been a modern blessing but it has also become one of the most lethal commodities within our homes if improperly handled.

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  • Who Is Prone to Electrical Burn Injuries?
  • The Severity of the Electrical Burn and Scarring
  • How to Prevent an Electrical Burn

In the United States, more than 1,000 Americans die each year due to electrical injuries, and those that get injured suffer from physiological and pathological effects.

Who Is Prone to Suffering Electrical Burn Injuries?

Electric burns are a result of a person coming into contact with an electric current from a live wire (directly or indirectly) and lightning. Common residents are victims of low-voltage electrical injuries while those working in specific work environments (utility companies) are prone to high-voltage electrical burns.

For example, fractal wood burning, a process of creating art in wood, can cause high-voltage electrical currents if you’re not careful, which can lead to burn injuries.

The Severity of the Electrical Burn and Scarring

Not all types of electrical burns leave a scar. Scarring from electrical burns depends on how severe the burn injury is and there are three different types of burns you can get from an electrical injury.

First-degree Burns

Also known as superficial burns, a first-degree burn is the least dangerous type of burn a victim can receive as it simply causes redness and in some situations, swelling. The outer layer of skin dies and gets replaced during the healing process with a new layer of skin. There might be some scarring depending on how long the contact with electricity is.

Second-degree Burns

The damage here is much deeper than first-degree burns resulting in dead outer skin. Second-degree burns are also called partial thickness burns and victims will often have redness and swelling but some blisters are painful. These types of burns affect the skin’s protective ability which can lead to infection if the burns do not receive immediate medical attention. Scarring is certain but with proper medical care, it can last for a few months.

Third-degree Burns

These are referred to as full-thickness burns and are the most severe burns that a victim can receive and are life-threatening as it reaches the fat layer and bones. However, these are less painful than the other two types as it kills all the nerve cells. With burned skin, third-degree burns affect the social life of a burn injury victim as they have disfigurements and excessive scarring requiring skin grafts surgery, and long-term medical burn treatment.

It is important to understand that the body is capable of converting electricity into heat and this can lead to thermal burns. Such injuries are not evident from the outside as the skin is not damaged or affected too much but there can be internal bodily injuries from an electric shock.

How to Prevent an Electrical Burn

Although many in the United States die due to electrical burns, these types of injuries are preventable by taking proper safety measures.

Here are a few prevention tips that you can implement in your life to reduce the risk of an electric injury:

  • Ensure safety coverings for all electrical outlets if you have children at home.
  • Electrical Cords are susceptible to wear and tear exposing live electrical wires. Keep electrical cords away from children or simply replace them to avoid getting electrocuted.
  • When using electrical appliances, make sure that you read the safety instructions that come with the devices to avoid any electrical injuries.
  • When at work, ensure that you follow all the safety instructions provided.
  • During rain and lightning, avoid going out or traveling as more than 15% of the electrical burn cases in the United States is due to lightning.

If you’ve gotten injured by an electric current due to someone else’s negligence, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact us a Los Angeles burn injury attorney today at (213) 596-9642 for a free case evaluation.

Citations

http://ameriburn.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/electricalsafetyeducatorsguide.pdf

https://www.winchesterhospital.org/health-library/article?id=163347

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