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First Degree Burn | Overview

Overview

What is a first-degree burn?

A first-degree burn, also called a superficial burn, only affects the epidermis, or outer layer of skin. The burn site appears red, painful, dry, and absent of blisters. Scarring is rare or minimal. The most common type of first-degree burn is mild sunburn.

What causes a first-degree burn?

In most cases, first-degree burns are caused by the following:

  • mild sunburn
  • flash burn - a sudden, brief burst of heat

First Degree Burn | Symptoms & Causes

In-Depth

What are the symptoms of a first-degree burn?

The following are the most common signs and symptoms of a first-degree burn. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • redness
  • dry skin
  • skin that is painful to touch
  • pain usually lasts 48 to 72 hours and then subsides
  • peeling skin

The symptoms of a first-degree burn may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

First Degree Burn | Treatments

First-degree burns usually heal on their own within a week. Treatment may depend on the severity of the burn and may include the following:

  • cold compresses
  • lotion or ointments
  • acetaminophen or ibuprofen

First-degree burns are usually not bandaged. Consult your child's physician for additional treatment for first-degree burns.

First Degree Burn | Programs & Services