Burn symptoms vary depending on how deep the skin damage is. It can take a day or two for the signs and symptoms of a severe burn to develop.
- 1st-degree burn. This minor burn affects only the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). It may cause redness and pain.
- 2nd-degree burn. This type of burn affects both the epidermis and the second layer of skin (dermis). It may cause swelling and red, white, or splotchy skin. Blisters may develop, and pain can be severe. Deep second-degree burns can cause scarring.
- 3rd-degree burn. This burn reaches the fat layer beneath the skin. Burned areas may be black, brown, or white. The skin may look leathery. Third-degree burns can destroy nerves, causing numbness.
- Seek emergency medical assistance for:
- Burns that cover the hands, feet, face, groin, buttocks, a major joint, or a large area of the body
- Deep burns, which means burns affecting all layers of the skin or even deeper tissues
- Burns that cause the skin to look leathery
- Burns that appear charred or have patches of black, brown, or white
- Burns caused by chemicals or electricity
- Difficulty breathing or burns to the airway
Take first-aid measures while waiting for emergency assistance.