Second Degree Burns

Second Degree Burns: Causes, Symptoms, & Treatments

Second degree burns are considered to be deep burns that damage not only the epidermis, or the outer layer of skin, but also the dermis, or the inner layer of skin. This type of burn is very painful and typically requires medical attention and may cause permanent scarring.

Causes of Second Degree Burns

Second degree burns can be caused by a variety of factors, including hot liquids or steam, electrically current, and prolonged exposure to the sun. Chemical burns, such as those from acids or alkalis, can also cause second degree burns. Second-degree burns may also be caused by flame or scald injury.

Symptoms of Second Degree Burns

The symptoms of a second degree burn may vary depending on the severity of the burn. The most commonly seen symptoms are:

  • Redness to the area
  • Pain and soreness
  • Blistering and swelling, which is usually filled with clear or yellowish fluid.
  • Cold, pale or mottled in appearance
  • Open wounds, which may ooze and crust over

Treatments for Second Degree Burns

Second degree burns should be seen by a medical professional and can range from minor to more severe and can require professional medical treatment.

  • To treat a second degree burn, run cool, clean water over the area for at least 10 minutes.
  • Protect the area with a dry, sterile cloth or bandage.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infection.
  • Keep the area elevated to reduce swelling.
  • Take pain medication as directed by a medical professional.
  • Monitor for signs of infection.

In more severe cases of second degree burns, medical attention may be required. Treatment options may include skin grafts, surgery, topical ointment, bandages, and/or antibiotics.