Third Degree Burns

3rd degree burn information

Description of Third Degree Burn:

Third degree burns are the worst type of burns. It is also referred to as a full thickness burn because it destroys the dermis, epidermis and sometimes even fat, muscle and bone.


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Causes of a 3rd-Degree burn:

*  A boiling liquid substance.

*  The flame of a fire.     

*  An electrical current.

*  A chemical source of heat.

*  Skin that has been in contact with a hot object for a long period of time.


How do you Know when it’s a 3rd Degree Burn…

Symptoms may include:

  • Dry rubbery skin.
  • Black, white, grey, brown or yellowish skin. 
  • Swelling in and around the burnt area. 
  • No pain, because the nerve endings are burnt. 
  • Areas surrounding the burn may be painful.

3rd Burn Degree Treatment

It is imperative that you seek medical attention with 3rd degree burns. The epidermis and hair follicles are destroyed and new skin cannot grow back. Burns that cover more than 5% of the body or that are located on the face, genitals, hands or feet need to be treated in a specialized burn clinic.

Treatment of a Third Degree Burn will usually Include:

•    Removal of dead skin and tissue from the burnt area.

•    IV fluids containing electrolytes for dehydration.

•    Antibiotics either by mouth or IV to prevent infection.

•    3rd degree burn treatment usually includes an Antibiotic cream.

•    A high protein diet and nutritional supplementation.

•    A pain reliever is almost always needed in third degree burn treatment.

•    A humid, warm environment is vital in the treatment of third degree burns.

•    Skin grafting if the wound needs to be closed.

•    Functional and cosmetic reconstruction if needed.

•    Healed skin that had made a scab after a burn may later need to be cut off again because the scabbing may restrict blood flow to the area.


Scaring After a Third-degree Burn

Hypertropic scarring occurs in 50% of all third-degree burn victims. This is when the scarring is thick, red, tight and painful.

Scar formation can be reduced by closing the wound early enough, using pressure garments. Some medications such as corticosteroids, antihistamines and Interferons can also help reduce scar formation.

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Other pages on remedies for skin in connection with this page

* First degree burn care.

* Second degree burns.

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