English 3 MIN READ 872 VIEWS May 10, 2024

Identifying Different Types of Burn Injuries and Performing First Aid for Burn Injuries 

Written By HealthKart
Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Burn injuries are extremely common occurrences in our daily lives. From getting in contact with hot oil during cooking to accidentally getting shocked by electrical current, getting burns has become a recurring issue. Burn injuries can occur at any time due to exposure to high temperatures. 

Burns can be caused due to all kinds of things such as hot liquids like oil and water, sunburns, electric fires, and chemical burns, to name a few. Burn injuries are uncomfortable and often times severe, therefore, it’s essential to be well-educated about burns, their types, and the ways to perform proper first aid for burn injuries.        

Different Types of Burn Injuries

Burn injuries can be segregated into three different types of burn injuries; first-degree burns, second-degree burns, and third-degree burns. These are separated by the severity of the overall injury. All three types have been discussed below in detail for your reference:

First Degree Burns

These are the most common and the least severe types of burns. Usually, they refer to superficial burn injuries that affect only the outermost layer of the skin, also known as the epidermis. These can be identified as red, dry and painful burns that hurt but have no developing blisters. These are minor burns, and can also be identified by their size of being around 3 inches.

Second Degree Burns 

Second-degree burns are a slightly more extreme form of burn injuries. They’re also called partial thickness burns and affect the epidermis and the inner layer of skin (dermis). In these types of burn injury, the skin can still appear red, but may also have blisters developing on the affected area. They can also become extremely swollen and the pain can be extensive in comparison to first-degree burns.  

Third Degree Burns

These are the most severe types of burns that can occur to anyone. These types affect and destroy both the epidermis and dermis skin layers. They can also end up damaging the bones, muscles, as well as tendons, and ligaments lying underneath all the layers of skin. The skin can appear to be black, brown, white, or charred, and these may not be  painful initially as burns end up damaging nerve endings as well.

Doing First Aid for Burn Injuries: Effective Methods

If you or your loved ones face burn injuries, you can provide the first aid with the following effective methods:

  1. First aid for minor burn injury includes using a cold compress or running cold water as soon as possible on the affected area. This should be done for at least 10 minutes to ensure that the temperature is brought down. Avoid direct application of ice to prevent further damage.
  2. Avoiding use of any cleaning products, and only washing the area with light soaps is essential for keeping the burn well-maintained and clean. 
  3. If any blisters occur, one should completely avoid popping them manually. They should be allowed to burst naturally, as the pus or fluid prevents infections. Once they pop, you can use external methods to protect the burned skin such as gentle cleaning and the use of an antibiotic gel to promote healing.
  4. Aloe vera can be a great way to perform first aid for burn injuries at home. You can also use lotions and mild creams that contain aloe vera. 
  5. For second-degree burns, you should immerse the affected area in water until the pain subsides. 
  6. Removing any jewellery or clothing around the affected area is also important in case any swelling may occur. 
  7. To manage the pain that comes with all types of burn injuries, you can opt for OTC pain relievers, as long as you consult with a medical practitioner for the prescription.
  8. In the case of third-degree burns, the first step should be to get medical help. Until assistance arrives, you should avoid water contact and the use of any kinds of creams or ointments on the affected skin. You should also remove clothing and other accessories from and around the area, as long as they are not stuck to the skin.


Different types of burn injuries call for different methods of first aid. For minor burns, home remedies such as cold compressions and mild creams can be used. For the more major types of burns, one needs to be extremely careful and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Knowing about the different kinds of burns and being aware of effective tips of first aid for burn injuries is essential to ensuring your safety and your loved ones in times of need.

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