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    Spilling hot coffee that can burn
    Photo by dinabelenko/Envato

    The difference between first, second & third degree burns

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    Whether the heat hurts you鸿运彩票手机app, you鸿运彩票手机appr parent or child, or someone else, burns are serious business.

    Here’s a brief overview of the differences between first, second and third degree burns, including the various symptoms that may be experienced, and typical treatments.

    First-degree burns

    First-degree burns involve the top layer of skin. Sunburn is one example of a first-degree burn.

    Signs of a first-degree burn:

    • Red
    • Painful to touch
    • Skin will show mild swelling

    Treatment for first-degree burns:

    • Apply cool, wet compresses, or immerse in cool, fresh water. Continue until pain subsides.
    • Cover the burn with a sterile, non-adhesive bandage or clean cloth.
    • Do not apply ointments or butter to burn; these may cause infection.
    • Over-the-counter pain medications may be used to help relieve pain and reduce inflammation.
    • First degree burns usually heal without further treatment. However, if a first-degree burn covers a large area of the body, or the victim is an infant or elderly, seek emergency medical attention.

    First-degree burns - diagram


    Second-degree burns

    Second-degree burns involve the first two layers of skin.

    Signs of a second-degree burn:

    • Deep reddening of the skin
    • Pain
    • Blisters
    • Glossy appearance from leaking fluid
    • Possible loss of some skin

    Treatment for second-degree burns:



    • Immerse in fresh, cool water, or apply cool compresses. Continue for 10 to 15 minutes.
    • Dry with clean cloth and cover with sterile gauze.
    • Do not break blisters.
    • Do not apply ointments or butter to burns; these may cause infection
    • Elevate burned arms or legs
    • Take steps to prevent shock: lay the victim flat, elevate the feet about 12 inches, and cover the victim with a coat or blanket. Do not place the victim in the shock position if a head, neck, back, or leg injury is suspected, or if it makes the victim uncomfortable.
    • Further medical treatment is required. Do not attempt to treat serious burns unless you鸿运彩票手机app are a trained health professional.
    MORE
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    Second-degree burns - diagram


    Third-degree burns

    A third-degree burn penetrates the entire thickness of the skin, and permanently destroys tissue.

    Signs of a third-degree burn:

    • Loss of skin layers
    • Often painless. (Pain may be caused by patches of first- and second-degree burns, which often surround third-degree burns)
    • Skin is dry and leathery
    • Skin may appear charred or have patches that appear white, brown or black.

    Treatment for third-degree burns:

    • Cover burn lightly with sterile gauze or clean cloth. (Don’t use a material that can leave lint on the burn).
    • Do not apply ointments or butter to burns; these may cause infection
    • Take steps to prevent shock: lay the victim flat, elevate the feet about 12 inches.
    • Have the person sit up if the face is burned. Watch closely for possible breathing problems.
    • Elevate burned area higher than the victim’s head when possible. Keep the person warm and comfortable, and watch for signs of shock.
    • Do not place a pillow under the victim’s head if the person is lying down and there is an airway burn. This can close the airway.
    • Immediate medical attention is required. Do not attempt to treat serious burns unless you鸿运彩票手机app are a trained health professional.

    Third-degree burns - diagram



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