A first-degree burn will appear a shade of red, sometimes bright red and other times a duller shade of red. If you press gently on a first-degree burn, it will turn white briefly, then become red again.

There may be some swelling present, but it is important to distinguish swelling from blisters. First-degree burns do not cause blisters. If your burn blisters, it is most likely a second-degree burn.

First-degree burns only affect the superficial, or outer layer of skin, which is known as the epidermis. If your burn appears to affect deeper layers of skin, it is not a first-degree burn. You should seek immediate medical attention in that event.

A first-degree burn will be painful, but usually heals on its own. As your burn begins to heal, it will look and feel dry. The skin may peel off to allow the new, healthy skin underneath to emerge. These burns do not scar, and eventually your skin will look as it did before your burn.