Determining the Seriousness of a Burn
The seriousness of a burn is determined by:
- The depth of the burn (first-, second-, third-,
- First-degree burns are burns of the first layer of skin
- Second-degree burns. There are two types of second-degree burns:
- Third-degree burns (full-thickness burns) injure all the skin layers and tissue under the skin. These burns always require medical treatment.
- Fourth-degree burns extend through the skin to injure muscle, ligaments, tendons, 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 health of the burn victim.
- Other injuries.
What to think about
It is important to watch for signs of infection during the healing of any burn.
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMay 27, 2016
Current as of: May 27, 2016
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2017 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.