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Third-Degree Burns - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

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Summary about Third-Degree Burns

Burns, also called thermal injuries, occur due to exposure to heat, flames, chemical compounds, or radiation. They can vary in severity from moderate to life-threatening and are categorized into specific ranges based totally on the intensity and volume of tissue harm.

Diagnosing burns typically entails a bodily examination and an evaluation of the affected person's clinical records. The general physician will examine the severity and volume of the burn, determine the degree of tissue harm, and discover any related injuries or complications. In some cases, extra diagnostic tests, which include imaging studies or laboratory assessments, can be ordered to evaluate deeper tissue involvement, contamination, or systemic outcomes of the burn. Prompt and correct analysis is important for figuring out an appropriate treatment plan.

Symptoms of Third-Degree Burns

The symptoms of burns can vary depending on the severity and degree of the injury. Here are some common symptoms associated with burns:

  • Redness, swelling, and pain in the affected area

  • Blisters or fluid-filled sacs on the skin

  • Peeling or shedding of the outermost layer of skin

  • Skin that appears white, charred, or leathery

  • Difficulty breathing or coughing if the burn affects the respiratory system

  • Nausea, vomiting, or dizziness in cases of severe burns

  • Shock, which may manifest as pale and clammy skin, weakness, rapid pulse, or unconsciousness

Causes of Third-Degree Burns

Burns can be caused by various factors. Here are some common causes of burns:

  • Heat

  • Chemicals

  • Electricity

  • Radiation

  • Friction

  • Cold


The treatment of burns depends on the severity and volume of the injury. Here are some preferred guidelines for treating burns:

  1. First Aid: For minor burns, immediately cool the affected area with water for about 10-20 minutes. Avoid using ice or icy water. Cover the burn with a clean, non-stick dressing or cloth. Do not pop blisters.

  2. Fluid Replacement: For intense burns, intravenous fluids may be administered to keep hydration and replace lost fluids.

  3. Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can help alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Follow the recommended dosage.

  4. Wound Care: A healthcare professional will clean the burn, apply appropriate dressings or topical ointments to prevent infection, and promote healing. In some cases, debridement (removal of dead tissue) may be necessary.

  5. Pain Management: Prescription medications can be prescribed for pain control, mainly for greater severe burns.

Preventive Measures of Third-Degree Burns

  • Do not leave hot liquids in cups, mugs, or bowls on the table's edge. Turn the pot handles away from the front of the stove.
  • A lit cigarette should not be left unattended. Check to see if it's still lit. Then safely dispose of it.
  • Keep dangerous items out of children's reach. Keep cigarette lighters, matches, and chemicals out of reach of children.
  • Keep the temperature of the water heater to low or medium.