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Types of Burn Injuries

Burns are traumatic and oftentimes horrific injuries. They can involve only a discreet part of the body or multiple areas. They can sometimes be little more than annoying or lead to permanent disability. Sometimes scarring can be avoided but scarring can be dramatic.

Burn injuries are determined or graded by the amount of harm done to the tissue. The more injury done the more treatment required.

Skin Layers Burned

There are four types of burn injury. From the least amount of injury to the most severe, are: first degree – second degree (partial thickness) – second degree (deep partial thickness) – third degree (full thickness).

First Degree Burns:

  • Sunburn
  • Involves first layer of skin only
  • Local pain and redness
  • No blisters or delayed blisters
  • Will heal without treatment

1st degree burn

Second Degree Burns (partial thickness):

  • Bright red, moist surface
  • Involves first and second layer of skin
  • Tense, fluid-filled blisters
  • Very painful
  • Superficial second degree burns heal in 10-14 days

2nd degree burn

Second Degree Burns (deep partial thickness):

  • Involves first and second layer of skin
  • Dry, waxy, white or dull red in color
  • Blisters may be present
  • Relatively less painful
  • Takes more than 10 days to heal

2nd degree deep

Third Degree Burns (full thickness):

  • Involves all layers of skin
  • Dry surface
  • Often leathery
  • Tight swelling
  • Relatively painless
  • Color varies

3rd degree burn

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