Ask The Expert
May 06, 2011
Blistering means that your burn goes deeper than the top surface of your skin. This makes it a second degree (or "partial-thickness") burn.
A third-degree burn, on the other hand, does not blister. It injures all layers of the skin. This makes the layers of skin and tissue stick to each other, and prevents fluid pockets (blisters) from forming. Third degree burns also look leathery and dry, and can be white, brown, grey or red in color.
Follow these steps to treat your burn:
Don't break a blister. This can increase the risk of infection. Large blisters are occasionally drained by a doctor who can apply a bandage that will deter infection. If a second degree burn is large or involves seeping fluids, you may need antibiotics.
In general, small burns that happen while baking or ironing clothes can be treated at home. However, your doctor should examine your second degree burn if:
You should also see your doctor if you burned your hands, face or genitals. These areas have more delicate skin and present a higher risk for infection.