Superficial second-degree burns usually heal in about three weeks, as long as the wound is kept clean and protected. Deep second-degree burns may take longer than three weeks to heal.
A second-degree burn that doesn't cover more than 10 percent 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:
- antibiotic ointments
- dressing changes one or two times a day depending on the severity of the burn
- daily cleaning of the wound to remove dead skin or ointment
- possibly systemic antibiotics
Wound cleaning and dressing changes may be painful. In these cases, an analgesic (pain reliever) may need to be given. In addition, any blisters that have formed should not be burst.