First-degree burns cause reddening of the skin and local pain. A sunburn is an example of a first-degree burn.  Second-degree burns cause blisters, more pronounced swelling, are very painful and the skin may peel. Third-degree burns cause white or black charred skin, and often the loss of pain sensitivity because of nerve damage in the deeper tissues.

Treatment – First and Second-Degree Burns

Do not put butter, oil, ice or ice water on burns – this can cause more damage to the skin. Soak the burn in cool water and clean gently with soap. Apply a layer of antibiotic ointment or burn cream, and cover with a sterile gauze dressing. When changing dressings, clean off all cream with soap and water and look for signs of infections. Do not rupture blisters – this will increase the chance of infection.

Treatment – Third Degree Burns

Third-degree burns affect all 3 layers of the skin; the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis.


Consider the following:

  • Don’t remove any clothing that is stuck to the burn,
  • Don’t soak the burn in water or apply any ointment,
  • Cover the burn with a sterile bandage or clean doth until professional medical assistance,
  • Often followed by shock,
  • Administer a pain reliever immediately,
  • Consume more water than usual.

Serious Burns

All burns are considered serious when they are:

  • Third degree,
  • To the hands, face, feet, or genitals,
  • Circumscribe, or go completely around, an extremity such as an arm or leg,
  • More than 10% of the body.  To determine the percent of the body, the palm of your hand is about 1% of your total body surface.
  • All serious burns require immediate medical attention.

IMPORTANT – The procedures described on this website are not a substitute for medical, first aid or CPR training. Always seek treatment from a trained medical professional whenever possible.



No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





Many of our adventures and random thoughts are captured with video and available on our YouTube channel


Don’t miss anything, 
Subscribe to our newsletter today.