What’s the difference between the degrees of burns and how would you tell them apart?



What’s the difference between the degrees of burns and how would you tell them apart?


Burns are categorized into 3 degrees

1st degree: red + hot + painful + usually heals with no scar
-think superficial epidermis layer

2nd degree: white + painful + USUALLY blisters + longterm scar (hyperpigmentation)
-think slightly deeper dermis layer

3rd degree: white + NOT painful
-think all the way down to the nerve level and you basically fry your sensory nerves
-Need medical intervention because you are likely to get a really bad bacterial infection in the skin or blood (sepsis)

1st deg is some redness and warmth in the skin, and is usually a slightly painful to touch.

2nd degree is kind of broad. 2nd can vary from deep redness and hot skin, to the formation of blisters, and is can be very painful.

3rd is tissue death. In 3rd, the skin is so burned it can peel off or starts falling away. 3rd can be extremely painful, or sometimes damage deep enough tissue to destroy the nerves and be painless. So it is possible to receive 3rd degree and not immediately notice. ALWAYS seek medical treatment if you suspect 3rd degree burns.

1st: simple sunburn or you briefly touched a hot surface. Red, painful.
“A first-degree burn refers to a burn injury where the surface of the skin is damaged, but the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin) is still intact, and therefore able to perform its functions (control temperature and protect from infection or injury).”

2nd: blistering
“damage that has extended through the epidermis and into the dermis (the second layer of skin)… indicates a loss of skin function.”

3rd: sometimes charred; skin is destroyed
“the burn has destroyed both the epidermis and dermis… There’s no easy way to tell the difference between a deep partial-thickness burn (2nd degree) and a full-thickness burn (3rd degree) when looking at it in the field”

4th: the underlying muscle / organ / bone is damaged.
“destroy all layers of your skin, as well as your bones, muscles, and tendons.”

+ + + + + +

1st & 2nd can be first-aided with cool water (NOT an ice cube or pack!) until the heat is over.

2nd might benefit from an antibiotic cream, but for an extensive area (or if the burn is on the face, hands, feet, or genitals) see a doctor instead.

ANY 3rd, 4th, or electrical burn GO TO THE HOSPITAL ER!!!!! No water on it, no cream/salve, just cover it with the cleanest thing you have & get help.