Though for a layman any burn might seem the same, there are diversities, when considered from the medical point of view. Different types of burns are categorized as per the intensity of skin or tissue damage. This in turn depends on the number of skin layers affected throughout i.e. the epidermis, which is the outermost layer; dermis, which is the middle layer or subcutaneous level, which is the tissue lying beneath. This determines the type of burn injuries, which can be mild as well as severe and may need medical assistance.
There are basically three types of burn injuries, first degree, second degree and third degree. The first degree burn involves the damage related to the epidermis. The signs and symptoms of first degree burn include redness, swelling, and white or peeling skin. These kinds of injuries are very sensitive to touch. The skin appears blanched on application of slightest pressure. First degree burns do cause pain but it is not too sever by nature and heals without leaving any scar. A good example of first-degree burn is Sunburn.
Next is the second degree burn, which affects both the epidermis and the dermis of the skin. Such burn injuries exhibit redness, swelling and blisters. They often affect the sweat glands and hair follicles as well. Thus, a deep second degree burn is to be treated properly as persistent swelling and decreased blood flow in the tissue can result in making a burn a third degree one. It may also lead to a situation, where the patient may exhibit symptoms such as pale, clammy skin, weakness, bluish lips and finger nails.
The last category is the third degree burn, which affects all the epidermis, dermis and deep underlying muscle and tissues (hypodermis). These types of burns can cause skin charring and can even give it a translucent white color. The vessels visible just below the skin surface become coagulated. The affected area may become numb, but the person may complain of pain. In effect, healing from third degree burns is an extremely slow process as the skin tissue and structures are destroyed. These burn injuries also result in extensive scarring.