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Second-degree burns are currently calling my arms home. They do not look friendly. There are blisters which make the skin look like bubble wrap. Hair in the area is singed, if not gone. The tissue is pink and swollen, and hurts. A lot. When the nurse saw this, she said my burns were semi-deep. Apparently, as she explained, there are two types of second-degree burns: superficial and deep, depending on how far into the skin the wound actually goes. In my case, the wounds reach the dermis.

With second-degree burns there is little-to-no scarring of the tissue. After 2-3 weeks the skin will have healed itself and, in most cases, will be good as new. Bodies are amazing, aren't they? Let me tell you what they do to make second-degree burns all better:

They clean the area with antiseptic of some sort, to wash away bactera that might cause infection. Then they take a tongue depressor and ice you like a cake with this white goo called SSD, a topical aintibacterial cream. They cover the burns with light gauze, write a script for pain meds, and send you on your merry way.

If you should incur a second-degree burn, I suggest a visit to a doctor or hospital. The nurse told me that burned tissue is highly susceptible to infection and that, if it's not treated properly, can cause real damage. This statement was followed by a menacing look and the waggle of a tongue depressor. I didn't dispute it, and if you'd seen the look on her face you wouldn't have, either.

All of the information here came from my $600 crash course at the er.

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