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Auckland Regional Burn Service/ National Burn Service

Public Service, Burns

Superficial Dermal, Mid-Dermal and Deep-Dermal Burns (Second Degree)

Superficial Dermal burns affect the epidermis and part of the second deeper layer of skin (dermis). The development of blisters is the hallmark of a dermal burn. The burn area may appear very red or, if blisters burst, wet and shiny. The area may also be swollen and very painful. Treatment may include antibiotic ointment and frequent dressing and cleaning of the wound. A superficial dermal burn should heal spontaneously with the proper care.

Mid-Dermal and Deep-Dermal burns affect progressively more of the underlying dermis and will take longer to heal with corresponding greater risk of scarring. Deep dermal burns require the same treatment as a full-thickness burn.

This page was last updated at 2:25PM on November 16, 2021.