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First Degree Sunburn

A Clear Boundary Between Sunburn and Unburned

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Updated March 04, 2011

sunburn
(c) Melanie Martinez
The clear line between the burned skin and the natural, unburned skin shows how red skin gets. This is a good example of a first degree sunburn. Sunburns can certainly become second degree burns, too.

The differences between burn degrees has to do with the depth of the burn. How much of the thickness of the skin was burned? If only the surface of the skin, the top layer, was burned, we call that a first degree. First degree burns like this one are red, irritated and dry. They don't blister. Blistering indicates the burn got deep enough to injure the second layer of skin. When that happens, the skin layers start to separate, which leads to blistering.

If you have a picture of your own burns or injuries, submit your injury pictures here.

Any opinions expressed here are for educational purposes only and are not intended for diagnosis.

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