Many people will suffer from varying degrees of burn injury in their lifetime. It is important to understand how these injuries can impact sufferers and how they manifest.
To that end, a scale exists by which doctors and other medical professionals can determine the severity of a burn. What does this scale look like?
Healthline takes a look at burn injury severity and how these categories manifest. The scale ranking severity of burn injuries starts at first-degree burns, goes up to second-degree, and ends officially at third-degree. Some charts include fourth-degree burns, but most medical facilities just categorize anything “more severe” as a third-degree burn still.
First-degree burns are the most common and require the least amount of medical intervention. Most people have experienced this burn, as sunburns fall under this category. Burns of this category only involve the most superficial layer of flesh and result in red skin, pain, a tightening sensation, sensitivity and the feeling of heat. They are typically treated through rest, topical ointments and pain relievers.
Moderate to severe burns
Second-degree burns involve at least two layers of flesh and will often result in blistering. A second-degree burn on the face or one larger than three inches elsewhere on the body counts as a severe injury.
Third-degree burns are the most severe of all. Any size or location of a third-degree burn counts as a severe injury. This involves multiple layers of flesh and can result in numbness due to nerve damage. Victims may gain scar tissue from this event. These injuries always require immediate medical attention to avoid complications like scarring, disfiguration, infection or even death.