A Closer Look at Third Degree Burns

Doctor with medical card

Third-degree burns are a serious medical condition that involves the destruction of the epidermis, or the outer layer of the skin, and the dermis, which is the deeper layer underneath the epidermis. Third-degree burns can be caused by exposure to a scalding liquid, a chemical, flames, or an electrical source. Since third-degree burns result in the destruction of the nerve endings in the area, patients do not typically feel pain. They may experience symptoms such as swelling, and dry, leathery skin. The skin may turn yellow, white, brown, or black.

Depending on the severity and extent of the burn, you may require specialized treatment within a burn center. The specialist at the burn center will perform debridement, or the removal of dead tissue. You may receive intravenous fluids and antibiotics, and you may be prescribed pain medications. Extensive burns or slow healing wounds may require a skin grafting procedure.

The Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital offers specialized care for burn victims , including acute care, reconstruction, and psychological counseling. West Hills residents who wish to speak with a registered nurse may call our Consult-A-Nurse referral line at (818) 676-4000.

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