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What do degrees of burn injury mean?

On Behalf of | May 12, 2022 | Personal Injury

Burn injuries fall into three categories: mild, moderate and severe. These categories also go by their degrees: first, second and third-degree.

What should you know about burn degree severity? How do these categories match with the injuries they represent?

First degree burns

Temple Health examines burn injuries and their degrees of severity. Burn injuries will occur for any number of reasons, as any heat source can burn the skin, ranging from hot water to electrical appliances. No matter what job you have, you may face the risk of burn injuries on a daily basis, too.

First-degree burns are the most common. Sunburns often fall into this grouping, to give you an idea of what they look and feel like. These burns do not involve blisters, but rather a reddening of the skin. It only damages the topmost layer of the dermis. In most cases, the damage is easy to combat with a combination of moisturizer and topical ointments or pain relievers.

Second-degree burns

Second-degree burns will result in blistering and will cause more pain to the victim. If the burn is more than 2 to 3 inches in diameter or on a crucial part of the body like the face, it is not a minor burn and will likely require immediate medical attention.

Third-degree burns

Third-degree burns cause the most damage and have the highest rate of complications and scarring. These burns will affect all layers of the skin. Victims will often not feel pain due to the damage to nerve endings in the area. The skin also looks white and charred instead of red or blistered.

In any of these cases, it is important to get a medical opinion and treatment quickly to minimize the amount of long-lasting damage and scarring done.