There are three degree levels of burns that indicate the severity of the damage done to the body. First-degree burns affect the first layer of skin and are not as severe. They are often caused by sunburns or light scalding and can be described with redness or tender swelling of skin. Second-degree burns are more serious and reach through the outer layer of skin as well as the deeper dermis area. These cause painful blisters and need more treatment. Lastly, third-degree burns are the most severe and reach through all layers of the skin. These can cause nerve damage, charred skin and need immediate surgery.