With plenty of warm weather and popular beaches, Southern California is prone to causing sunburns. However, this is just one of the many types of burns that people can get. These common injuries range in severity from minor first-degree burns to potentially life-threatening third-degree wounds. Furthermore, burns are divided into several different categories, including thermal, electrical, friction and more. Experts say that knowing the type of burn can help in finding the proper treatment.

Thermal burns are burns caused by heat or something hot. That includes fire, hot stoves, hot liquid or steam. Minor thermal burns can be treated at home, but putting ice on a burn can make it worse. Cold water should be used instead.

Chemical burns are caused by harsh skin irritants like acid. Some cleaning products or substances like ammonia, bleach and chlorine have the potential to cause chemical burns. Like thermal burns, minor chemical burns can be treated with cool or cold water.

An electrical burn can result if someone comes in contact with electrical current. These are most often caused by damaged extension cords. However, broken outlets and other home electrical systems can cause burns as well.

Another common category is friction-related burns. These are usually minor and self-healing. They are caused by the skin rubbing or scraping against a surface. Though many burn injuries can be treated at home, serious burns of any type should always be treated by a medical professional.

Occasionally, someone might suffer a burn that is so severe that it causes permanent disability. Burns can happen because of personal error, but they can also happen because someone else, or a company, was negligent. For example, a defective product that is used correctly could still cause a serious burn. Someone who is seriously burned due to another party’s negligence has the right to seek compensation for their injuries.