A to Z: Burn, Second-Degree

Print this page Bookmark and Share
Parents

A to Z: Burn, Second-Degree

A second-degree burn affects the top two layers of skin (the epidermis and dermis). It is more serious than a first-degree burn.

More to Know

Signs and symptoms of second-degree burns include severe pain, swelling, redness, and blisters that sometimes break open. The area can be wet looking with a bright pink to cherry red color. Deep burns can result in scarring.

Burns can be caused by contact with fire, heated objects, steam, hot liquids, or chemicals. Exposure to electrical currents, radiation, and the sun can also lead to second-degree burns.

Small second-degree burns (no larger than 3 inches in diameter) can usually be treated at home. Larger burns or burns located on the face, hands, feet, groin, or major joints need to be treated by a doctor immediately.

The first step in relieving symptoms is to apply cool water to the area for at least 5 minutes. Do not put ice, butter, or ointments on a burn. To protect the wound, you can cover the area with a dry, clean cloth or sheet.

Keep in Mind

Second-degree burns can be very painful and need to be watched carefully for infection. With proper treatment, however, most will heal in about 3 weeks. Taking safety precautions at home can help prevent many burns.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.



Related Resources

OrganizationU.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) This federal agency collects information about consumer goods and issues recalls on unsafe or dangerous products.
OrganizationNational Institutes of Health (NIH) NIH is an Agency under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and offers health information and scientific resources.
OrganizationAmerican Academy of Dermatology Provides up-to-date information on the treatment and management of disorders of the skin, hair, and nails.
OrganizationNational Fire Prevention Association This nonprofit organization provides fire safety information and education.


Related Articles

Sunburn Instruction Sheet The best treatment for sunburn is prevention. Mild sunburn results in skin irritation and redness and can be safely treated at home. Severe sunburn requires medical attention.
Childproofing and Preventing Household Accidents You might think of babies and toddlers when you hear the words "babyproofing" or "childproofing," but unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 years old and under.
Fire Safety Would you know what to do if a fire started in your home? Would your kids? Check out our fire safety tips.
Burns Burns, especially scalds from hot water and liquids, are some of the most common childhood accidents. Minor burns often can be safely treated at home, but more serious burns require medical care.
Household Safety: Preventing Burns, Shocks, and Fires Burns are a potential hazard in every home. In fact, burns - especially scalds from hot water and liquids - are some of the most common childhood accidents. Here's how to protect kids from burns.
Sun Safety By teaching kids how to enjoy fun in the sun safely, parents can reduce their risk for developing skin cancer.
Burns Instruction Sheet Burns from fire or other sources of heat range from mild to life-threatening. Some burns can be treated at home; others need emergency medical care. Find out what to do in this printer-friendly sheet.
Fireworks Safety The summer heat, the smell of hamburgers on the grill, and the sound of fireworks can only mean one thing: It's the Fourth of July. Before your family celebrates, make sure everyone knows about fireworks safety.




Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995-2013 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.



 

Upcoming Events

The 1st Annual Logan X. Hess Stop Child Abuse Poker Run and Car Show will take place August 3. The ride begins at the Piqua American Legion and ends at Edison Community College. The car show will be at Edison Community College.

Car Seat Safety Check at Russell's Point Municipal Building

Play golf at the world-class NCR Country Club golf course to benefit Dayton Children’s Pediatric Cancer Care Center. Enjoy the Hoopla festivities featuring dinner and an outstanding silent auction and a guest presentations from our brave Dayton Children's ambassador fighting cancer.

Car Seat Safety Check

View full event calendarView full event calendar

Health and Safety

Your child's health and safety is our top priority

Accreditations

The Children's Medical Center of Dayton Dayton Children's
The Right Care for the Right Reasons

One Children's Plaza - Dayton, Ohio - 45404-1815
937-641-3000
www.childrensdayton.org