- A first degree burn normally involves the top surface layer of the skin, such as a typical sunburn that might be a little bit red and sensitive to the touch.
- Second degree burns involve the first two layers of the skin. Symptoms of second degree burns include a deeper reddening of the skin, blistering, and sometimes a loss of some skin.
- Third degree burns penetrate the entire thickness of the skin and permanently destroy tissue: Your skin will feel very dry, and you will actually lose skin layers.
- A fourth degree burn is the most severe, involving injury to the deeper tissues, muscle or bone.
If you have a third degree burn, you may not feel immediate pain because the damage is deep to the nerves and might even be numb.
With the less-serious first degree burn, you may feel the pain earlier because the nerves below the skin have not been damaged.
When you have a burn injury, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
If your skin appears charred or white, or severely discolored, (even if it is painless), you should absolutely seek medical attention.