What Are the Basics of Second Degree Sunburn?

What is second degree sunburn?

Second degree sunburn, also called partial thickness sunburn, involves the epidermis and part of the dermis layer of skin.

It usually heals within 2 to 3 weeks with some scarring.

There are two types of second degree burn:

  1. Superficial second degree burn: includes the first layer and some of the second layer; no damage in the deeper layers or in the sweat glands or oil glands.
  2. Deep second degree burn: includes damage in the middle layer, and in the sweat glands and oil glands.

What are the symptoms of second degree sunburn?

Symptoms of second degree sunburn can appear soon after exposure to the sun, including:

  • Extremely red appearance to the skin
  • Prominent heat felt from the skin surface
  • Severe pain to the skin even when it is not touched
  • Blistering that may weep serous fluid
  • Swelling to the affected area of the body

In severe cases, the patients may experience symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Secondary infection

What are the treatment options for second degree sunburn?

Treatments depending on the severity of the burn may include:

  • Antibiotic ointments
  • Dressing changes one or two times a day
  • Daily cleaning of the wound to remove dead skin or ointment
  • Cooling the affected area with cool baths or tap water
  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID)
  • Systemic antibiotics

Keyword: second degree sunburn

* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.