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The Treatment of Third Degree Burns

A burn can affect one's skin, tissue, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels. Burns are classified by how severe they are and how much damage is incurred. A burn can be caused by several things such as heat, extreme cold, steam, electricity, chemicals, friction, or radiation. These injuries are ranked by how much tissue is damaged and the amount of pain. Burns range from mild, first degree burns to severe, their degree burns. The treatment of burns varies based on the cause of the burn and the severity of the injury. Proper early treatment can lessen the degree of a burn and increase the odds for a positive outcome.

Most people only think of burns caused from a flame or from hot food, when truthfully, there are many ways to get severely burned. Being exposed to extremely hot items, hot liquids or food, steam, gases, electricity, and radiation are all potential causes of burns. The treatment of each particular burn injury fluctuates based on the cause but also the severity of the burn.

First degree burns are minor ones that affect only the top layer of skin. There will be redness and possibly swelling. Slight pain can also felt. The treatment of burns that are minor can be easily treated with first aid.

Second degree burns are a little more severe and are deeper, or thicker. In addition to the symptoms of a first degree burn, these also experience blistering. While some of these burns can be treated by home remedy, it is recommended that one seeks medical attention.

Third degree burns, while not the worse burn one may get, it is normally the worst burn someone can recover from. These burns char through the skin and damage the deeper layers of one's flesh including muscles and tendons. These burns can not be treated at home.

Black, charred skin and extreme pain are key identifiers of a third degree burn. Difficulty breathing, losing consciousness or death can also associate their degree burns. Someone that has a major burn injury it is imperative that proper care is taken to prepare for professional care. These first critical steps can be life saving steps. First, the cause of the burn should be extinguished or ended. Then medical professionals should be notified. After this, the injured areas should be covered with a clean and sterile cloth. Since third degree burns are highly susceptible to infection, covering the wound helps keep dirt and germs out of the affected area. If hands or feet are burned, the fingers or toes should be separated with clean cloths to prevent webbing injuries. Clothing or objects that have fused onto a burn victim's skin should not be removed for any reason. No household items such as ice, butter, or ointments should be applied to the burn, nor should any burn blisters be disturbed or popped. Shock can set in easily with a person that has third degree burns, so if possible the victim should be laid down with the feet slightly elevated.

Third degree burns can be fatal based on how much area is burned, how severe, and where the burns are located. Most severely burned individuals will require additional care from burn units. These specialized units are highly educated in the treatment of burns. They have special beds that reduce pressure points to sensitive skin. They also will prepare the patient for skin grafts, which are often needed to help the burn area heal.

The last steps to treat a burn are for the victim to get physical therapy and finally counseling if it was a critical injury. It is essential to know the difference between first degree and third degree burns is the first step in knowing how to treat burns. Applying the knowledge of how to care for these burns can reduce healing time and increase the odds of a recovery.

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