You’ve just burned yourself cooking. Now what should you do? That depends whether your burn is a first-, second- or third-degree burn, and whether it’s minor or major.
- First-degree burns are superficial, affecting only the skin’s outer layer. These burns are painful and red, and there’s swelling at the burn site.
- Second-degree burns harm the skin’s outer and underlying layers. There’ll be pain, redness, swelling and blistering.
- Third-degree burns are the most serious, affecting the skin’s deep tissues and its outer layers. The skin at the burn site looks charred and blackened or white, and the area may feel numb.
A major burn is a first- or second-degree burn that covers an area greater than 2 or 3 inches in diameter; a burn on the face, hands, feet, groin, buttocks or a major joint; or a third-degree burn of any size. A minor burn is a first- or second-degree burn that covers a small area of the skin in a less sensitive area.