Information About Second Degree Burns

The skin consists of three layers: epidermis, dermis and subcutaneous. The common burn classifications – first, second and third – refer to the layer or layers of skin that are affected. While a first degree burn damages the epidermis, a second degree burn extends past the outer layer and into the dermis. Compared to first degree burns, second degree burns take longer to heal and pose a higher risk for complications.

The main characteristics of second degree burns include the following:

  • The skin is red or red and white.
  • The burned skin has a moist texture.
  • The affected area is extremely painful.
  • The affected area swells, and this inflammation can be extreme.
  • The burned skin often develops blisters.

Some of the major causes of second degree burns include the following:

  • Scalds from hot liquids or steam
  • Exposure to direct flame
  • Contact with hot objects
  • Exposure to electrical current
  • Chemical spills and other accidents
  • Exposure to ultraviolet light

Whether you or another person sustains a second degree burn, it’s critical to know what to do immediately afterwards in order to minimize complications and the risk of permanent damage. The first priority is to cool the burn by running it under cold water or immersing the burned area. Next, you need to determine whether medical attention will be necessary. A person with a second degree burn should see a doctor right away if the affected area has a diameter that exceeds two to three inches, if a major joint is involved (such as the knee) or if the burn is on the extremities or the face. If none of these apply, you can probably treat the second degree burn at home. After cooling the area, apply an antibiotic cream to minimize the risk of infection, and cover it with a non-stick dressing. Gently cleanse the area and change the dressing daily, applying a cool compress and more antibiotic cream each time.

While most people do recover fully from second degree burns in two to three weeks, this isn’t always the case. The recovery period can be longer if the damage covers a large area, extends into the deeper portions of the dermis, or if an infection develops. There is also a risk that a second degree burn can become a more severe third degree burn in the days following the initial injury. Second degree burns can cause permanent scarring. Doctors may need to perform skin grafts or remove scars through surgical means if they are interfering with the normal functioning of a joint.

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Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney About Your Burn Injuries

While burn injury accidents do happen, the negligence of employers, business owners and product manufacturers can cause the second degree burns. Because these injuries can mean weeks away from work, high medical costs, pain and permanent disfigurement, you need legal representation if someone else is responsible for your burn injury. Contact Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C. at (609) 240-0040 to schedule a FREE consultation with a New Jersey injury attorney today.

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Additional Information

Princeton Burn Injury Lawyer Disclaimer: The legal information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice, nor the formation of a lawyer or attorney client relationship. Any results set forth here were dependent on the facts of that case and the results will differ from case to case. Please contact the attorneys at our law firm. This web site is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the State of NJ.

The firm’s principals, Gabriel R. Lependorf and David E. Silverstein, have each been representing injured victims in the State of New Jersey for over thirty years.

Call Our Office At (609) 240-0040 Today for Help