Which burns are the worst?

Burns can be a pain in the neck, literally and figuratively. They come in different forms- from mild to severe – and bring forth various symptoms that range from redness, blisters, swelling to excruciating pain. Some people address them with mere water spray, while others seek medical attention.

Are all burns created equal? What separates a serious burn from a trivial one? In this article, we are delving into which burns are the worst and how you can tell what kind of scorching trauma you have experienced (you do not want to look like Gollum or Voldemort at any point).

First-Degree Burn

Probably your first encounter with fire power happened when you were roasting marshmallows as a kid (that’s where it starts for most of us; those tiny things should come with safety warnings). You might remember mom putting some ice on your burned finger, soothing away stinging sensation.

First-degree burns only involve the outermost layer of skin called epidermis. They typically appear red without any blistering accompanied by minor inflammation or swelling (basically similar to sunburns but less sexy than tan-lines).

How to treat first-degree Burn?

As mentioned earlier applying cool running water on the burnt area helps deal with discomfort especially within 20 minutes after exposure . Other treatments involve:

  • Aloe vera gel: It is believed that it reduces inflammation alleviating pain.
  • No bandages or tight wraps needed so apply petroleum jelly/pain reliever
  • Mild OTC creams

    Important: For infants always reach out for professional help immediately

Second Degree Burns

Have you heard about touching cautionary tales such as falling asleep next to space heaters/iron boxes whilst heating pads? Yes second-degree terrors begin right there! These kinds of blazes extend beyond epidermis damaging dermal layer below, often accompanied by blisters (in fact they look like violent boilings in their own right).


Symptoms of second-degree burns include:

  • Swelling
  • Blister formation
  • Skin splotching characteristic to a tender pink or reddish color
  • Achiness suggesting nerves are involved/worsening as result

The worst part about these is that the pain could be unbearable and it takes longer time to heal. You basically become princess Fiona on her honeymoon night with Shrek (not a pretty sight).

How To Treat Second-Degree Burns?

With these kinds of burns immediately begin to cool off the burnt area with cold water over 15 minutes (we need all our skins where they belong) until heat subsides followed by treatment such as:

  • Applying sterile dressing/a wet bandage if homeopathic options already tried.
    – Pain medication prescribed my physician
    – Antibiotic ointment: In case healing process stagnates or infection occurs

It may take up to two weeks for this type of burn injury to heal completely whereby developed scarring might remain indefinitely.

Third Degree Burn

Let’s delve into something unique/special because you’re feeling daring today/think shock looks good on you! Extreme electrocution cases/Chemical accidents have caused gruesome third degree infernos. These types of scorchers involve major tissue damage extending beyond ocular area resulting in blackened char and white tinged skin appearance.

Third-degree burns require immediate medical attention due “best deals’’ being exclusively reserved for winter coats NOT skin removal; without care, organ failure/fatality can quickly insue.


Here’s how you tell its bad news;

– White/black coloured surface seen after exposure .
– Absent sensation on burnt areas.
-Raised charring not noticeable in appearance but when touched firm beneath your fingers
-Numbness within affected tissues (basically zombie flesh from dawn of the dead)

Treatment for Third Degree Burns

Treatment required is substantially more in-depth than home-based remedies such as moisture/beauty masks. Hospital admissions, Antibiotics and long-term recovery plans are some factors that are considered;

  • Tissue grafting: Surgeons take skin tissues(helps quicken healing process).
    – Pain-relievers
    -Antibiotic treatment to help prevent infection.
    -Hospital admission services those extensively affected so they have access to multiple resources needed during recovery
  • Expert’s professional eye (Medical)

Final Thoughts

All burns hurt but not all requires panic or same level of care . After reading this article you should be able to distinguish between what constitutes mild then possibly treatable as compared to severe burns which require immediate medical attention lest permanent disfigurement set in.

Stay safe folks, there is no one-size-fits-all approach when dealing with fire / electrical/ oil burning safety, awareness could save your life!

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