Wound of the Month: 2nd Degree Burns (Superficial–Partial Thickness)

A guide to simulating injuries through effective use of moulage


5–8 minutes

Skill Level


Supplies (Find supplies and more at www.moulageconcepts.com)


Red make-up wheel

Burgundy make-up wheel

White setting powder

Baby oil


Make-up sponge, latex

Stipple sponge

Small paintbrush


Using the latex, create the desired burn area by applying a medium-sized, approximately 4 inch × 2 inch oblong pattern to the skin of the victim. Create a second, smaller burn area, adjacent to the first (leaving some of the natural skin exposed between the two). Allow latex to dry to the touch, approximately 1–2 minutes. (See Figure 1.)

Using a make-up sponge dipped in red, then burgundy, make-up, create skin reddening by lightly applying the make-up to the surface of the latex, using a gentle blotting motion. Alternate the intensity of color placed on the latex by the amount of pressure applied to the applicator. Note: Latex absorbs more color then natural skin. (See Figure 1.)

Create peeling skin by gently lifting the latex edges along the burn perimeter, stretching and pulling the latex back slightly to create an “overhang.” Gently release the latex back into place. (See Figure 2.)

Using a stipple sponge that has been dipped in white setting powder, create skin flaking along the perimeter of the burned area and extending outward approximately 1/4 to 1/2 inch. (See Figure 3.)

Using a paint brush that has been lightly dipped in baby oil (remove excess baby oil by blotting tip of brush into a tissue), create a slight, random patterned sheen to the center of the reddened skin, being careful to leave some areas looking “dry” along the powdered edges. (See Figure 4, 5.)

Quick Fix

Has your burn “advanced” past the superficial 2nd degree? Lighten and set color by gently blotting burn with a large blush brush that has been dipped in baby powder; tap the edge of the brush on firm surface to shake off the excess powder before applying, prior to applying baby oil.


Medic 61 Respond Code 3 campground fire with possible explosion at Whitewater RV Park, Space 37, unknown injuries. Hwy. 1, nearest cross street, Pine Road. Chino Fire responding. 1900 hours. Dispatch clear.

On Scene

Dress victim in a pretreated burn shirt. To create the shirt use scissors to cut jagged holes in a flannel shirt; create numerous small holes in the abdomen, side and upper chest of shirt. Remove one sleeve on the shirt, up to the elbow. Using a match or flame lite, carefully char the edges of the shirt, around the holes and removed sleeve. Dip a large paintbrush into cooled fireplace ash and liberally apply soot to the side, front and seared sleeve of the shirt. Using a make-up sponge, apply white make-up to the face of victim, blending well. Using a cotton swab dipped in gray eye shadow, create smoke inhalation marks by applying color to skin creases under the nose, around the corners of the mouth and around the corners of the eyes. Create beads of sweat on the skin by applying a light mist of premade sweat mixture to the forehead, chin, upper lip and chest area of simulated victim. Apply 2nd degree burns to exposed skin on arm, hand and chest of victim.

Use in Conjunction With

Odor, smoke

Blisters, clear

1st degree burns

Helpful Hint

Use a red watercolor marker to apply the burn. Apply a medium-sized, approximately 4 inch × 2 inch oblong pattern to the skin of victim. While ink is still wet on skin, lightly blot color with a blush brush that has been dipped in white baby powder, variegating the color intensity and softening the lines. Remove excess powder by blotting gently with a tissue or paper towel.

Cleanup and Storage

Using a soft, clean cloth or make-up remover towelette, wipe away the make-up and sweat from the skin of the victim. Treated garments and fireplace ash can be stored together in a sealed freezer bag in your moulage box for future use.

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