When you think of burns, you probably think of thermal burns — which you get from hot surfaces and open flames — and chemical burns. It’s wise to note that you can also get serious burns from cold surfaces and cold temperatures. These are known as cold burns.

One of the more extreme and common examples of a cold burn is frostbite. This happens when skin is exposed to the cold for a long period of time, in most cases, though it can happen more quickly in colder temperatures or if your skin is also wet.

You can get cold burns from canisters that are stored in extremely cold conditions or that are stored in such a way that the metal containers themselves are very cold. This is often a problem in industrial settings, schools and scientific labs.

Cold burns usually act very similar to thermal burns, though without the charring of the skin. They can cause the skin to turn black, though, as often happens with frostbite. There could be blisters that form on the surface. Nerves can be damaged. The skin and nerves can both be so injured that they never completely heal.

For the most severe cold burns, doctors may determine that the only way to help is to remove the affected skin. In some cases, this means amputating fingers, toes and other areas, which can lead to permanent disfigurement. Even when amputations aren’t needed, scars and other marks can last a lifetime.

Have you suffered a burn in Colorado? If so, it may be a good idea to look into all of your rights, including the right to financial compensation.

Source: WiseGeek, “What is a Cold Burn?,” accessed July 23, 2015