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The skin is more than just a layer of tissue; it protects the body from harmful substances such as germs and sunrays and helps regulate body temperature. When the body becomes too warm, the glands under the skin secrete sweat, which has a cooling effect. As important as it is, however, the skin is delicate and can be easily damaged. Fortunately, most of these injuries are usually superficial—as is the case with first-degree burns.

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1. What is a First-Degree Burn?

Medical professionals classify burns according to how deeply they penetrate the skin. First-degree burns are the mildest -- they only affect the epidermis or outermost layer of the skin. Second- and third-degree burns are more serious; the latter affects the deeper tissues and often causes nerve damage. Sunburns are a common example of a first-degree burn. They develop due to overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.