Second Degree Burns
Second-degree burns affect both the outer-layer (epidermis) and the under lying layer of skin (dermis) causing redness, pain, swelling and blisters. These burns often affect sweat glands, and hair follicles.
If a deep second-degree burn is not properly treated, swelling and decreased blood flow in the tissue can result in the burn becoming a third-degree burn.
- Peeling skin
- Shock (pale, clammy skin, weakness, bluish lips and finger nails)
- White or charred skin
First Aid for Severe Burns: (Second & Third-Degree)
- DO NOT remove burnt clothing (unless it comes off easily), but do ensure that the victim is not in contact with burning or smoldering materials.
- Make sure the victim is breathing. If breathing has stopped or the victim's airway is blocked then open the airway and if necessary begin CPR.
- If the victim is breathing, cover the burn with a cool moist sterile bandage or clean cloth. DO NOT use a blanket or towel; a sheet is best for large burns. DO NOT apply any ointments and avoid breaking blisters.
- If fingers or toes have been burned, separate them with dry sterile, non-adhesive dressings.
- Elevate the burned area and protect it from pressure or friction.
- Take steps to prevent shock. Lay the victim flat elevate the feet about 12 inches, and cover the victim with a coat or blanket. DO NOT place the victim in the shock position if a head, neck, back, or leg injury is suspected or if it makes the victim uncomfortable.
- Continue to monitor the victim's vital signs (breathing, pulse, blood pressure).
- DO NOT apply ointment, butter, ice, medications, fluffy cotton dressing, adhesive bandages, cream, oil spray, or any household remedy to a burn. This can interfere with proper healing.
- DO NOT allow the burn to become contaminated. Avoid breathing or coughing on the burned area.
- DO NOT disturb blisters or dead skin.
- DO NOT apply cold compresses and DO NOT immerse a severe burn in cold water. This can cause shock.
- DO NOT place a pillow under the victim's head if there is an airway burn and they are lying down. This can close the airway.