How Long Does A Burn Takes To Heal: 3 Measures To Take

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While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. -----------------------------------

Whenever someone comes in close contact with fire or some hot liquid, it causes some damage to the layers of the skin and later causes severe pain. However, the burn’s severity depends on the temperature of the surface or substance that came in contact with the skin. This is why people should know how long does a burn takes to heal and also what measures they should take.

Causes Of Burns

There are many typical reasons for burns. Before healing them, you must know what the causes of burns are.

1. Thermal Burns

The skin gets heated since the temperature gradually increases from these types of burns. Also, the tissues below from these burns get heated.

Some examples of thermal burns happen from hot bath water, tipped-over coffee cups, cooking fluids, hot foods, and also steam.

2. Radiation Burns

When someone is exposed to sunlight or ultraviolet rays of the sun, then these types of burns are called radiation burn wounds.

Under the sun’s rays, the skin is not protected well enough. Sometimes radiation burn is often caused by radiation from X-rays.

3. Electrical And Chemical Burns

The chemical burns are often caused due to ingesting vigorous acids. It can even happen if you come in contact with any acids like acids from the gutter cleanser or button batteries.

Even spilling chemicals can also cause chemical burns when it comes in contact.

Electrical burns happen if you come in contact with any open or live wire. You may even face these unbearable burns on grinding on electrical cables or if you accidentally touch any electrical outlets.

How Long Does A Burn Takes To Heal?

When the skin starts to heal, it goes through the peeling process. Furthermore, it generally takes from three to twenty days to heal properly from first-degree burns.

However, the time to heal may sometimes depend on the affected area. It is always recommended and better to see a doctor if the signs of the burn are leading to infection or even worse.

However, if you are looking to treat your wound from home, then you must place a cool compress over the wound. This will help you to heal fast, and also, you will be lessened the pain and the swelling.

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Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash

Remove the cool water or anything cool after five to fifteen minutes. However, you must avoid the use of ice or something which is an icy compress.

It is recommended not to do this because such a cold can worsen the burn injury.

Also, you should not apply any type of oil, even butter, to your burned skin. The use of oils always prevents infection from healing.

However, you can use aloe vera included products. The lidocaine included can also help with your pain relief, and you can find them in any medical shop.

The minor burn can be reduced by drying and can also be boosted to repair damaged skin.

Types Of Burns And Their Healing Time

Every type of burn must be healed as soon as possible. Measures must be taken to lower the temperature and reduce further injury to the skin and underlying tissue of the ignited spot.

1. First Degree Burns Or Superficial Burns

Superficial burns or shallow burns are the softest forms of burns. First-degree burns are restricted only to the highest coating of skin.


These types of burns generally provoke redness, discomfort, and sometimes minor swelling. Also, the skin becomes very dry when without blisters.

Recovering Time

The recovery time greatly depends on the impact of the burn. Generally, it takes three to seven days to heal a medium-thickness burn wound completely. However, the external skin layer may peel off within one or two days.

2. Second-degree burns

These types of burns are also called partial-thickness burns. Second-degree burns are dangerous and affect the outermost part of the skin and also some underlying layers of the skin.


The affected area becomes reddish and fully blistered. Also, the burned area can get swelled up and are extremely painful.

Sometimes, the blisters break free, and the burned area looks wet with some shining pinkish to cherry blood-red color look to the second-degree burn.

Recovery time

Often, second-degree burns heal within two to three weeks. However, if the burn injury is more significant, the partial thickness burn will take longer than expected.

3. Third-Degree Burn Or Full-Thickness Burns

They are not partial-thickness burns; instead, they are the most severe burns. They are often called third-degree burns. Some people even call them fourth-degree burns.

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Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

These types of burns affect not only the outer-most part of the skin but also the nerve climaxes and the underlying tissue.


The burned skin sometimes may have the color of white wax. Also, the surrounding skin may appear dry or charred and brown in color.

Larger burns caused by third-degree burns involve all layers of skin, starting from the thin layer to the thick layer of skin.

Injured skin caused by third-degree burns can give extreme or zero pain, or even the burned skin may sense numbed due to nerve damage.

Recovery Time

The healing takes a lot more time when full-thickness burns cause injuries. Most burns need treatment for skin grafts.

The process consists of talking about healthy skin grafts from one portion of the body. It is positioned over the burn wound surgically to heal the injury faster.

Measures To Take For Burns

If you are a victim of severe burns, or even if you see someone is injured from a burn, then you should take these immediate measures to avoid any serious conditions.

1. Seek Medical Help

You must seek medical treatment when you find these types of situations, and they should get emergency medical care.

  • If your kid is suffering from a serious burn instead of a first-degree burn.

  • If the wound covered is more than three to four inches wide, and though it seems a minor burn. You must not use any compresses or ice since these cause the child’s body heat to decrease immediately. However, it would be best to sheathe the place with a silky and hygienic fabric or towel.

  • If the burn is caused by fire, electrical wire, or even any chemicals cause it.

  • If you find the burn injuries are on the face of the person, in the scalp, limbs, or genitals, then the injuries should get immediate medical attention.

  • The outer layer of the new skin must prevent infection. If it is contaminated with bulging pus, rising redness, or lining of the skin near the wound, then the wound heals slower, and often due to chemical reaction, it can make the burn worse.

2. Measures For Superficial Burns Or First Degree Burns

When the burn is a first-degree burn, you must take these immediate actions to stop the increased pain and it from getting worse.

How long Does a Burn Takes to Heal
Photo by Tara Winstead from Pexels
  • If a child is injured from a burn, you must side the child from the burning thing and take the clothing off from the injured area.

  • Put any cool fluid over the wound. You must avoid using freezing water or ice.

  • You must not use any butter,  even lubricant, or powder over the wound. It will simply increase the wound big and the risk of infection.

  • Use any antibiotic ointments or aloe gel over the affected area.

  • Give the child ibuprofen or acetaminophen to reduce the pain.

  • You must now put any bandages over the wound for the next 24 hours.

3. Measures For Partial Or Full Thickness Burn

For these types of burns, you should not waste a single moment and must rush for medical care.

  • For a child, the area which is burnt must be raised.

  • Follow all the measures for a first-degree burn.

  • It would be best if you did not damage the blisters.

  • Pour some cool water, and this time protect the place with a sterile parched cloth until the medical support team arrives.

  • Use some antibiotic ointment over the burn so that the skin heals.


Burn injuries are severe and can worsen if measures are not taken properly. Injuries caused by electrical and chemical burns are more fatal and must be taken care of with ease. Even chemical burns on the face need immediate treatment right after it is washed with water.

However, you must be very protective of the children. They have soft skin and cause more damage. Also, you must stay up to date with the specific measures to be taken for a burn and know how long a burn takes to heal.

Due to burning injury, nerve regrowth can be slowed down. Furthermore, the skin’s sweat glands and blood vessels can also be damaged. Generally, the scar tissue is surrounded by blood vessels, so they cannot expand and contract properly. Due to this, skin graft also gets tricky. Also, make sure not to use any cosmetic appearance or mild soap over the burned area.

While at times contributed by guest authors, our content is medically reviewed periodically by professionals for accuracy and relevance. We pride ourselves on our high-quality content and strive towards offering expertise while being authoritative. Our reviewers include doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, and even medical students. -----------------------------------

Any information found on the site does not constitute legal or medical advice. Should you face health issues, please visit your doctor to get yourself diagnosed. Icy Health offers expert opinions and advice for informational purposes only. This is not a substitute for professional medical advice.


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