Determining the Seriousness of a Burn
The seriousness of a burn is determined by:
- The depth of the burn (first-, second-, third-,
- Reference First-degree burns Opens New Window are burns of the first layer of skin. See a picture of a Reference first-degree burn Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
Reference Second-degree burns Opens New Window. There are two types of second-degree burns:
- Superficial partial-thickness burns injure the first and second layers of skin. See a picture of this type of Reference second-degree burn Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
- Deep partial-thickness burns injure deeper skin layers. See a picture of this type of Reference deep second-degree burn Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
- Reference Third-degree burns Opens New Window (full-thickness burns) injure all the skin layers and tissue under the skin. See a picture of a Reference third-degree burn Opens New Window Reference Opens New Window.
- Fourth-degree burns extend through the skin to injure muscle, Reference ligaments Opens New Window, Reference tendons Opens New Window, nerves, blood vessels, and bones. These burns always require medical treatment.
- The size of the burn.
- The cause (thermal, electrical, chemical, radiation, or friction).
- The part of the body where the burn occurred.
- The age and Reference health of the burn victim.
- Other injuries.
What to think about
It is important to watch for Reference signs of infection Opens New Window during the healing of any burn.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference January 4, 2011|
|Medical Review:||Reference William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Reference H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine