Second-Degree Burns (Partial Thickness Burns)
What is a second-degree burn?
Second-degree burns (also known as partial thickness burns) involve the epidermis and part of the dermis layer of skin. The burn site appears red, blistered, and may be swollen and painful.
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What causes a second-degree burn?
In most cases, partial thickness second-degree burns are caused by the following:
What are the symptoms of a second-degree burn?
These are the most common signs and symptoms of a partial thickness second-degree burn:
Burned area may appear wet and shiny
Skin that is painful to the touch
Burn may be white or discolored in an irregular pattern
Talk to your child's doctor if the diagnosis is unclear.
Treatment for partial thickness second-degree burns
Superficial second-degree burns usually heal in about 3 weeks, as long as the wound is kept clean and protected. Deep second-degree burns may take longer than 3 weeks to heal.
Your child’s healthcare provider will figure out the best treatment based on:
How old your child is
His or her overall health and medical history
How well your child can handle specific medicines, procedures, or therapies
Your opinion or preference
A second-degree burn that does not cover more than 10% of the skin's surface can usually be treated in an outpatient setting. Treatment depends on the severity of the burn and may include the following:
Wound cleaning and dressing changes may be painful. In these cases, ask your child's healthcare provider about giving your child a pain reliever. Also, do not burst any blisters that have formed.