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Burn Center / Types of Burn Injuries

Types of Burn Injuries

A burn is damage to the skin caused by heat, flame, hot liquids or chemicals. There are three types or degrees of burns.

  • Superficial or 1st degree burns are damage to the top layer of skin (epidermis), usually causing redness and pain like a sunburn.  These types of burn usually heal anywhere from days to a week.
  • Partial Thickness or 2nd degree burns are damage to the deeper layers of skin (epidermis and dermis), usually causing blisters and pain. The wounds should be pink or red under the blisters.  These types of injuries should be evaluated by medical personnel. Typically, healing will occur within 2-3 weeks.
  • Full thickness or 3rd degree burns are damage to the entire thickness of skin, including nerves and blood vessels (epidermis, dermis, subcutaneous tissue). The skin may be black (charred), brown or white.  These types of injuries should be evaluated by burn specialists, as they may require surgical interventions in order to heal.