Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms Treatment Underlying Cause Anatomy

Third Degree Burn Overview

What is a third degree burn?
A person with a third degree burn has burned all the layers of the skin, as well as the fatty tissue beneath the skin. Usually, a third degree burn is painless because the nerves in the skin have been destroyed. Fourth degree burns cause damage to the muscle, bone or other deep structures. A third degree burn can be caused by exposure to heat, chemicals, electricity or radiation.

What are the symptoms of a third degree burn?
Symptoms of a third degree burn include white or charred skin. The burned area is not painful. However, second degree burns may surround the third degree burn. Symptoms of second degree burns include pain, skin redness, and skin blisters.

How does the doctor treat a third degree burn?
Treatment for a third degree burn includes intensive care in a burn unit. Antibiotic creams are applied to burned skin, in order to reduce the risk of infection. Additional treatment for third degree burns includes surgical removal of destroyed skin, and the application of skin grafts or synthetic grafts.

Continue to Third Degree Burn Symptoms

Last Updated: Aug 23, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Third Degree Burn References
  1. Allison K, Porter K. Consensus on the prehospital approach to burns patient management. Emerg Med J. 2004 Jan;21(1):112-4. [14734397]
  2. Drago DA. Kitchen scalds and thermal burns in children five years and younger. Pediatrics. 2005 Jan;115(1):10-6. [15629975]
  3. Phillips BJ, Kassir A, Anderson B, Schiller WR. Recreational-outdoor burns: the impact and severity--a retrospective review of 107 patients. Burns. 1998 Sep;24(6):559-61. [9776095]
  4. Singh V, Devgan L, Bhat S, Milner SM. The pathogenesis of burn wound conversion. Ann Plast Surg. 2007 Jul;59(1):109-15. [17589272]
  5. Smith MA, Munster AM, Spence RJ. Burns of the hand and upper limb--a review. Burns. 1998 Sep;24(6):493-505. [9776087]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.