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Burns and Burn Rehabilitation

There are three types of burn injuries:

  1. Thermal – caused by heat sources such as flame, steam, hot liquid, hot surfaces, or radiation.
  2. Electrical – caused by contact with active electrical sources.
  3. Chemical – caused by contact with an acidic or alkaline substance.

The severity of a burn depends on the part of the body burned, as well as the duration and intensity of exposure to the burn source. When a burn occurs, the injury is classified by severity and total body surface exposed.

Burn Severity (Degrees)

Degree of Severity Description Photo
First degree A superficial burn that only affects the top layer of skin (epidermis).
-no blistering
-painful, red skin
-heals in 3-4 days
Second degree The burn extends below the top layer of skin (epidermis) into the layers below (dermis).
-blistering
-top of blisters consist of dead skin
There are two types of second degree burns:
1. Superficial Partial Thickness – extends through the first half of the dermis.
-pink, painful, moist skin under the blisters
-heal in 10-14 days
-no to minimal scarring or impairment
2. Deep Partial Thickness – extend into the second half of the dermis.
-cause skin color to change, scarring
-heal in 20 days
-may require scar management
Third Degree The burn extends all the way through all layers of skin.
-white, brown, black or cherry red in appearance
-may or may not have blisters
-require specialized treatment and possibly surgery


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