As part of the initial exam, the doctor will determine the severity and the percentage of burns. The degrees of burns refer to the depth of the affected tissue and range from first degree to third degree, with third degree burns being the deepest.

First Degree Burns

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

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

Deep Second Degree Burn 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

Third Degree Burns Full Thickness

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