Burns are Physically and Emotionally Painful Injuries

Anyone who has had even the most superficial burn can attest to the fact it hurts, quite deeply in fact. Even for those who have never had a burn at all (those the number must be low), they still know this simply by the idea of being burned. There is a visceral reaction to the act of someone getting burned. Seeing in on-screen gets people to wince and turn away. Seeing one on a person produces a shudder and deep sympathy.

But, in this sense at least, a burn is like any other injury. After all, seeing a broken bone or dislocation produces the same reaction. People turn away, shudder, wince, express deep sympathy.

The difference lies in the long-term results of burns. When burns are serious, they leave a mark that most other injuries do not. A broken bone heals and it seems like nothing ever happened. A dislocation is the same way. Surgery leaves scars, but they are usually strategically placed and as small as possible so it is rare they leave the same marks as burns.

Burns do leave makes, and they are, of course, not strategically placed. In fact, burns often cover large swathes of skin. Since they cannot be minimized, they leave a permanent reminder of pain as well as a permanent cause of discomfort for others.

This would be bad enough, but there is a psychological toll that can be taken by having an injury so viscerally exposed. There is, of course, the initial feels of ugliness and self-disgust that come from burns, but there is also a difficulty in being able to emotionally move on from what must always be a traumatic event. Whereas other injuries, by healing completely, can in some sense move away from the center of the conscious mind, burns remain present to the mind whenever there is a mirror nearby. They are inescapable.

Such emotional pain is harder to heal than for other injuries. This fact should mean more attention is paid to those who suffer from burns. On a personal level, more effort should be made to help friends or family members who have suffered serious burns to adapt to life and come to terms with their physical change. For those in the medical community, more should be done to urge burn victims to seek psychological help. Psychologists can help equip burn victims with the tools necessary to move past the worst of their emotional troubles.

There is also a burden on legal professionals to do more to press cases where burns are the fault of others. Law firms that deal with burn injuries should prosecute cases severely and look for maximum damages in order to help limit future burn victims. Receiving compensation could also provide some needed closure for victims.

Everyone can do more to help those struggling to return to a normal life after suffering serious burns. Taken together, these efforts can reduce the burden to heal on the victim and can help ensure more is done to help healing go more than skin deep.