Superficial Burns and Burn Depth

Superficial Burns SunburnSuperficial Burns (1st Degree Burns) are those which only effect the Epidermis. Sunburn is a typical example.

What does burn thickness mean? and what difference does it make?

Burn thickness is important because the different layers of the skin all have many different functions. Your skin protects and insulates you. It can grow new skin, regulate body temperature, grow hair, guard against infection and communicate with your brain about what your environment feels like. The supple flexibility of your skin allows you to move and breath.

How deep a burn penetrates through the layers of the skin determines which of these functions may be damaged and which of these functions may be lost forever. A close inspection of the texture, moisture, color and general appearance of a burn will give you important clues regarding what thickness or “degree” of burn the patient has suffered.

1st degree burns

• These burns involve only the uppermost layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis. The epidermis is a thin layer of cells that coat the outer surface of the body. This thin coating of cells is what we traditionally think of when we reference the skin.

• The epidermis functions primarily as a protective layer. It protects us from infection and UV rays.

• Burns of the epidermis are red and painful. They do not tend to blister. Blisters are the first sign of damage to the dermal layer below the epidermis. Contact burns that redden and hurt but do not blister are also classified as 1st Degree Burns.

After the initial cooling, a Burn Cream or Aloe Vera can be applied to keep the air currents from causing pain.

1st Degree Burn

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