First-degree burns affect only the epidermis, or outer layer of skin, it’s also called superficial. In most cases, first-degree burns are caused by mild sunburn, or flash burn.
The burn site is red, painful, dry, and with no blisters. Long-term tissue damage is rare and usually consists of an increase or decrease in the skin color.
Symptoms may include:
- Dry skin
- Skin that is painful to touch
- Pain usually lasts 48 to 72 hours and then subsides
- Peeling skin
Superficial 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
- Acetaminophen or ibuprofen
Superficial first-degree burns are usually not bandaged. Consult your child’s doctor for additional treatment for first-degree burns.