Degrees Of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries are not only painful, but they also have the potential to be extremely damaging. Burn injuries are characterized by four degrees: first, second, third, and fourth.

  • First-degree burns – These affect the outermost layer of the skin, generally causing redness, pain, and discomfort. A first-degree burn can be treated with over-the-counter remedies such as bandages, antiseptic ointments, and topical analgesics.
  • Second-degree burns – This type of burn is more serious. They extend into the underlying skin layer and may cause redness; blisters; stiffening or hardening of tendons, muscles, and other tissue; or severe discomfort. A second-degree burn injury may take three to eight weeks to heal.
  • Third-degree burns – This type of burn extends through the entire dermis—in other words, all layers of the skin—and into the fatty layer underneath, potentially destroying nerves and leaving scars. These burns are extremely painful and result in waxy, white, leathery skin. Third-degree burns will require immediate medical attention and pain management, such as narcotic pain medication.

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