For more than two decades, Dr. Zachary Lutsky has practiced emergency medicine as an attending physician. Dr. Zachary Lutsky has delivered timely care to patients suffering from acute traumatic injuries, including severe burns.
Burns caused by heat, chemicals, or the sun vary in degrees of severity. First-degree burns affect the outermost layer of the skin and can be treated with first aid. However, when first-degree burns cover a large portion of the body, such as an intense sunburn, a trip to urgent care may be helpful.
Second- and third-degree burns are far more serious and always require medical attention. In a second-degree burn, a deeper layer of skin is burned, leaving large, weeping blisters. Second-degree burns are especially dangerous if they cover more than 10 percent of the body or if they appear in sensitive areas, such as the face, groin, and hands.
A third-degree burn of any size, due to the extensive tissue damage, should be treated as an emergency. Third-degree burns can make the skin appear brown or charred and are often painless because of nerve damage.