Published: Aug 6, 2010
Let’s face it; most of us have been burned before. From simple sunburn to touching a hot pot on the stove, almost everyone has been a victim of a minor burn. About 500,000 people receive treatment for minor burn injuries every year. Children are particularly at risk of getting burned accidentally.
Most burns are mild and the severity of the burn depends on the number of skin layers affected.
Burns used to be described using the word degree (1st, 2nd and 3rd). Now must doctors describe burns according to the thickness.
Symptoms of this burn include a painful red area which turns white when touched with no blister or moisture.
Partial thickness or second degree burn – This type of burn involves the epidermis and dermis which is the second layer of the skin. This can also be categorized as superficial or a deep burn depending on how much skin of the second layer is involved.
Symptoms of this burn include a painful red area which turns white when touched. Blister and moisture is present. If a lot of dermis is involved then this type of burn might not be painful because the nerve endings might have been destroyed due to the injury. Hair is usually gone if this burn has deep symptoms.
Full thickness or third degree burn – This is the most severe burn which involves all of the epidermis and dermis. Nerve endings, tiny blood vessels, hair follicles, and tiny sweat glands are all destroyed. At times, the bone and muscle may also be involved.
Symptoms of this burn are painless and there is no sensation to the touch. The skin may turn pearly white or charred and dry giving a leathery look.
Immediate medical attention is required if you have a partial or full burn which involves the ears, eyes, genitals, hands, feet or if the burned area is larger than the size of your palm.
911 should be called for emergency medical transport in the cases below:
Burns are easy to prevent if common sense is used.