What is a third-degree burn?
A third degree burn is also called a full thickness burn. Your skin contains 3 layers. A third degree occurs when all 3 layers are burned. This may also include damage to the bones and muscles. A third-degree burn is the most serious type of burn. and there are other types of burn first and second
What causes a third-degree burn?
Direct exposure to heat for a long time is the most common cause of a third-degree burn. This includes contact with hot objects or flames such as an iron, a skillet, tar, cigarettes, or fireworks. The following may also cause a third degree :
- Harsh chemicals, such as cleaning products, car battery acid, gasoline, or cement
- Lightning, or damaged electrical cords or electrical outlets
- Hot water or steam
What are the signs and symptoms of a third-degree ?
Your skin may be white, black, brown, or leathery. This type of burn injury is often painless because the nerves have been damaged.
How is a third degree burn diagnosed?
Your healthcare provider will ask about your burn. Tell him about your symptoms. He will examine your burn to determine how severe it is. Laser scanners may be used to check the blood flow in your skin.
How is a third degree burn treated?
- Medicines may be used to decrease pain, prevent infection, or help your burn heal. They may be given as a pill or as an ointment applied to your skin.
- Surgery may remove damaged tissue, replace or cover lost skin, or relieve pressure and improve blood flow. Surgery can help prevent infection, decrease inflammation, and improve healing. Surgery can also improve the appearance of your skin and reduce scarring.
How do I care for my third degree burn?
- Wash your hands with soap and water and remove old bandages. You may need to soak the bandage in water before you remove it so it will not stick to your wound.
- Gently clean the burned area daily with mild soap and water, and pat dry. Look for any swelling or redness around the burn. Do not break closed blisters, because this increases the risk for infection.
- Apply cream or ointment to the burn with a cotton swab. Place a nonstick bandage over your burn.
- Wrap a layer of gauze around the bandage to hold it in place. The wrap should be snug but not tight. It is too tight if you feel tingling or lose feeling in that area.
- Apply gentle pressure for a few minutes if bleeding occurs.
- Elevate your burned arm or leg above the level of your heart as often as you can. This will help decrease swelling and pain. Prop your burned arm or leg on pillows or blankets to keep it elevated
How can I prevent a third-degree burn?
- Do not leave cups, mugs, or bowls containing hot liquids at the edge of a table. Keep pot handles turned away from the stove front.
- Do not leave a lit cigarette. Discard it properly. Keep cigarette lighters and matches in a safe place where children cannot reach them.
- Keep your water heater setting to low or medium.
When should I seek immediate care?
- You have a fast heartbeat or breathing.
- You are not urinating.