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How does a burn qualify as 3rd degree?

1 doctor weighed in
Dr. Charles Breaux
Surgery - Pediatric

In brief: If the burn is ...

Red, dry, and tender, it may be a superficial 1st-degree burn.
If it's blistered and painful, it may be a 2nd-degree burn. If it's covered by tough, leathery burned tissue and doesn't hurt, it may be a 3rd-degree burn. It's sometimes hard to tell the depth of scald or contact burns early on. Those that heal up within 3 weeks are 2nd-degree; if it's still open after 3 weeks, probably 3rd.

In brief: If the burn is ...

Red, dry, and tender, it may be a superficial 1st-degree burn.
If it's blistered and painful, it may be a 2nd-degree burn. If it's covered by tough, leathery burned tissue and doesn't hurt, it may be a 3rd-degree burn. It's sometimes hard to tell the depth of scald or contact burns early on. Those that heal up within 3 weeks are 2nd-degree; if it's still open after 3 weeks, probably 3rd.
Dr. Charles Breaux
Dr. Charles Breaux
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