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First-degree burns affect only the epidermis, or outer layer of skin. The burn site is red, painful, dry, and with no blisters. Mild sunburn is an example. Long-term tissue damage is rare and usually consists of an increase or decrease in the skin color.
What causes a first-degree burn?
In most cases, first-degree burns are caused by the following:
- mild sunburn
- flash burn - a sudden, brief burst of heat
What are the symptoms of a first-degree burn?
The following are the most common signs and symptoms of a first-degree burn. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
- dry skin
- skin that is painful to touch
- pain usually lasts 48 to 72 hours and then subsides
- peeling skin
The symptoms of a first-degree burn may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.
Treatment for first-degree burns:
Specific treatment for a first-degree burn will be determined by your child's physician, based on the following:
- your child's age, overall health, and medical history
- extent of the burn
- location of the burn
- cause of the burn
- your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
- your opinion or preference
First-degree burns usually heal on their own within a week. Treatment may depend on the severity of the burn and may include the following:
- cold compresses
- lotion or ointments
- NSAIDs or Ibuprofen
First-degree burns are usually not bandaged. Consult your child's physician for additional treatment for first-degree burns.