There are three types of burns:
• First-degree burns damage only the outer layer of skin.
• Second-degree burns damage the outer layer and the layer underneath.
• Third-degree burns damage or destroy the deepest layer of skin and tissues underneath.
How deep a burn is and the percentage of burns
There are three categories for the depth of a burn; superficial, partial-thickness and full-thickness.
Superficial burns only affect the top layer of the skin and cause redness, swelling and tenderness.
Partial-thickness burns can be very painful and cause the skin to become red and blistered due to fluid expelled from damaged tissues.
full-thickness burns are when all the layers of the skin are damaged, possibly along with nerves, fat tissues, muscles and blood vessels.
These burns are not usually painful as damaged nerves mean sensation is lost, however workplace approved Training emphasises that this is a tell-tale sign of a serious injury and needs urgent medical attention.
To estimate the percentage of the body that has sustained burns, you can use the patients palm to represent 1% of their body surface. Any partial-thickness burns over more than 1% of the body surface must get medical attention and superficial burns over a larger area than 5%. Even partial-thickness burns covering more than 20% can be fatal.