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Three Grades of Burn Injuries

Step-by-step instruction on how to treat child-related burns at home.

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The animation shows how burns are divided into three different types according to how deep they are. In a first-degree burn, only the outer layer of skin is damaged. The skin is red, hot, and tender. The surface of the skin is dry, but without blisters. This type of burn will heal by itself after a few days without any scarring. In second-degree burns, the injury is deeper. The skin is very painful, red, or pale-colored with areas of swelling and blistering. This type of burn will last for 14 days or longer and there is a risk of scarring. The most serious is called third-degree burn. The skin is lifeless, white, dry, and leathery, possibly charred. There is little or no pain as the sense of pain has been damaged. With this type of burn, there will always be permanent scarring.