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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. See a picture of a first-degree burn.
- 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. See a picture of a third-degree burn.
- 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|
|Specialist Medical Reviewer||H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine|
|Last Revised||January 4, 2011|
|By:||Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: January 4, 2011|
|Medical Review:||William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine|
H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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