Figure 3-1. First-degree burn.
b. Second-Degree Burn (Partial Thickness Burn). Second-degree burns
(figure 3-2) extend into but not through the second layer of skin, the dermis, giving these
burns the name "partial thickness." The color of the burn varies, depending on its
depth. Deep burns may be dark or pale and colorless. Burns of less depth may be pink
or red and blotchy. The sensitivity of these burns also varies, depending on the depth
of the burn. A superficial second-degree burn can be very painful and sensitive to touch
and air movements. A deeper second-degree burn can have normal or decreased
sensation to touch. A second-degree burn that is very deep may be hard to distinguish
from a third-degree burn and may have no sensation. The most common condition is
that the burn is very painful. Slight pressure or air movement causes intense pain.
Swelling and blistering occur for about 48 hours after the injury. Usually, second-
degree burns heal in 14 to 30 days, frequently without scarring.
Figure 3-2. Second-degree burn.