About Skin Burns

According to uptodate.com, over one million burn injuries are reported each year in the U.S. Common causes of skin burns range from chemicals, flames, hot objects and sun overexposure. There are four ways to categorize skin burns.


Skin burns, which were once categorized by degrees, are described in terms of the skin layers that are impacted. Superficial, superficial partial-thickness, deep partial thickness and full thickness burns are the four types of skin burns. Superficial burns, formerly called first degree, affect only the epidermis or top layer of skin. Superficial partial burns, formerly called second degree, affect the two top layers of skin. Deep partial burns, formerly called third degree, form blisters. Full thickness burns, formerly called fourth degree, affect all skin layers. These scars can not heal without surgery.


There are a number of signs to look for in skin burns. Superficial burns are painful and involve a dry, red color to the skin. Superficial partial burns are also painful and much more sensitive to air movement. These burns espouse fluid and form blisters. Deep partial burns always form blisters and leave scarring. Full thickness burns turn the skin to a grayish black color. These burns completely damage the skin.


Burns that cannot be treated at home should be seen by a doctor. When dealing with minor burns there are certain procedures you could take: clean the area by washing the skin with cool water, stop infection by using antibiotic cream and treat pain by taking medications that are non-prescription.


There are minor precautions to take to prevent skin burns. You should keep candles, lighters and hot objects from children, install a smoke detector, set a low temperature for your water heater and apply sunburn lotion when necessary.

Time Frame

Superficial burns heal within a week or two. Partial burns heal within two to three weeks. Deep partial burns take more than 21 days to heal. Full-thickness burns do not begin the healing process until after surgery.

According to uptodate.com