Medicine (MD/DO)
Skin Burns
Types of Burns

Master Types of Burns with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.

Types of Burns

Recommended Picmonics

picmonic thumbnail
Burns Assessment
picmonic thumbnail
Burns Interventions
picmonic thumbnail
Burns Considerations
picmonic thumbnail
Rule of 9's for Burns
picmonic thumbnail
Parkland Formula

Types of Burns

Typewriter with Burns
Burn injuries involve the destruction of the integumentary system and are classified by the depth of skin destruction. While burns continue to be defined by degrees: first, second, third, and fourth degree, the American Burn Association recommends a more precise description.
Superficial Thickness

Superficial thickness burns, sometimes referred to as first degree burns, includes damage to the outer layer of the skin (the epidermis). These burns are usually characterized by redness, pain, moderate to severe tenderness, and no blisters.


A sunburn is the most common reason for a superficial thickness burn. Healing usually occurs in 3-5 days, as the epithelium peels away from the healthy skin.

Superficial Partial Thickness
Partial Super-fish

Superficial partial thickness burns, one of two types classified as a second degree, involves damage to the epidermis and upper layers of the dermis. Wound may be pink, red, or wet appearing. They are often painful and healing should occur around 10-21 days.


Blisters are characteristic of superficial partial thickness burns. Advise patients not to break the blisters as this can lead to infection.


Superficial partial thickness burns will blanch (temporary whitening of skin) when pressure is applied.

Deep Partial Thickness
Partial Deep-diver

Deep partial thickness burns, the second type of second degree, involves damage to the entire epidermis and most of the dermis. Unlike superficial partial thickness, these burns will appear dry and can be red or white. Sensation may be present, but is often diminished. Skin grafting may be necessary to heal.

Little or Non-blanching
Little Nun-bleach

Blanching of the skin is often sluggish or absent in deep partial thickness burns.

Full Thickness
Full Glass

Full thickness burns, previously referred to as third-degree burns, involve damage to all layers of the skin, possibly extending into subcutaneous tissue. Involvement of muscles, tendons, and bones is even more severe and is sometimes referred to as a deep full thickness or fourth degree burn. Surgical intervention is often required for healing.

Waxy White, Yellow or Black
Waxy-candle with white, yellow and black wax

Skin can appear waxy white, yellow, or black. The texture of the skin may appear leathery.

Decreased Pain
Down-arrow Pain-bolt

There is often decreased or no pain sensation due to nerve destruction.


Take the Types of Burns Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Ace Your Medicine (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,900,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medicine (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medicine (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medicine (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.