At What Temperature Does Human Skin Burn?

Moncherie/E+/Getty Images

Human skin burns to varying degrees of severity as the applied temperature rises. Humans begin to feel a burning pain when skin temperature rises to 111 degrees Fahrenheit, with first-degree burns developing at 118 F.

More severe burns occur at higher temperatures. An applied heat of 131 degrees Fahrenheit causes second-degree burns on exposed skin. Pain receptors overload and become numb at a temperature of 140 F. At 162 F, human tissue is destroyed on contact. The entire range of burn temperatures, from the first appearance of pain to instant destruction, falls well below 212 F, the boiling point of water.