Different types of burns

Image showing different types of burns

It is very important to know the types of burns and which burn can be treated at home and at the Doctor’s clinic.

Following is the classification of burn injuries.


Superficial skin burns, previously known as first-degree burns, damage only the top layer of skin, are painful, dry, and red, and turn white when pressed. It generally takes three to six days for Superficial burns to heal without scarring.

Superficial partial-thickness

Superficial partial-thickness skin burns, previously known as second-degree burns, damage the top two layers of skin, are painful with air movement or air temperature changes, are red and seep fluid, usually form blisters, and turn white when pressed. They heal within seven to 21 days. The burned area may permanently become darker or lighter in colour, but a scar does not usually form.

Deep partial-thickness

Deep partial-thickness skin burns, previously known as third-degree burns, extend deeper into the skin, are painful with deep pressure, almost always form blisters, and do not turn white with pressure. Deep partial-thickness skin burns take more than 21 days to heal and usually develop a scar.


Full-thickness skin burns, previously known as fourth-degree burns, extend through all layers of the skin, completely destroying the skin. The burned area usually does not hurt, is a waxy white to leathery grey or charred black color, and the skin is dry and does not blanch when touched. Full-thickness burns cannot heal without surgical treatment and scarring is usually severe.

Issued in public interest by Dolburn. 

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