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What do third degree burns look like?

On Behalf of | Jan 17, 2023 | Personal Injury

Burn injuries medically fall into three different categories: first, second and third degree burns. Of these burns, third degree constitutes the most severe.

What do third degree burns look and feel like? How can a victim tell if they suffered from a third degree burn?

Visual identifiers of third degree burns

Mayo Clinic discusses burn severity among burn degrees. Third degree burns count as the most severe, and it is often easy to tell when a burn falls into this category.

Third degree burns, also called full thickness burns, often involve many – if not all – layers of the skin. In some cases, it may even result in the bone itself suffering from burns.

Victims experiencing this level of burn injury sometimes do not feel any pain due to the destruction of the nerves in the area. Others may experience excruciating pain if the nerves remain intact.

Burns of this severity often look white or black and may appear cracked, bubbled, blistered or extremely dry. Redness with severe burns may still happen, but it is not as common as it is in lesser degrees of burn injury.

Potential risks of burn injuries

Unlike second degree burns, which only count as severe burns if on the face or larger than 3 inches, all third degree burns count as severe injury. This means it requires immediate medical attention.

If severe burn injury sufferers do not get the treatment they need, they risk permanent scarring and infections that may potentially threaten their lives. Complications like gangrene, necrosis, loss of tissue, amputation and even sepsis may also occur.