Burn Classification


First Degree Burn (Superficial)

  • Includes only the outer layer of skin, the epidermis
  • Skin is usually irritated and painful
  • The same as superficial sunburn without blisters
  • Looks dry
  • Healing occurs in 3-5 days, injured epithelium peels away from the healthy skin
  • You can be hospitalized for pain control and fluid imbalance.
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Second Degree Burn (Partial Thickness)

  • It is classified as partial thickness
    • Blisters can occur
    • Involve the entire epidermis and upper layers of the dermis
    • Wound will be pink, red in color, painful and wet appearing
    • Wound will blanch when pressure is applied
    • Should heal in several weeks (10-21 days) without grafting, scarring is usually minimal
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Third Degree Burn (Full Thickness)

  • All layers of the skin is destroyed
  • Extend into the subcutaneous tissues
  • Areas can look, black or white and will be dry
  • Can have a leathery looking texture
  • Will not blanch when pressure is applied
  • Painless
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How to Prevent Burns

  • Establish a fire escape plan with two ways out of the house, plus a designated meeting place once out of the house. Practice the fire escape plan regularly.
  • Keep an emergency ladder on upper floors of your home in the event of a fire. Keep the ladder in or near the room of an adult or older child capable of using it.
  • Make sure you have a smoke alarm on every level of your home and in each bedroom. Test smoke alarms monthly and remember to change the batteries twice a year.
  • Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older.
  • Install a fire extinguisher in the kitchen and know how to use it.