ZocdocAnswersWill skin ever grow back over third degree burns?

Question

Will skin ever grow back over third degree burns?

Will my friend's leg look burnt for the rest of his life? Can he have a skin transplant?

Answer

Your friend should make an appointment for a consultation with a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon. I would recommend starting with a dermatologist, and if they think that he would need to see a plastics surgeon they will refer you on. There are many different ways of classifying burns. The schema that most people are familiar with involves stratification by the "degree" or depth of the burn. In a 1st degree burn only the epidermis or most superficial layer of the skin is involved. A 2nd degree burn extends down into the superficial (papillary) or deep (reticular) dermis. A 3rd degree burn is a full thickness burn that goes through all the layers of the skin into the subcutaneous tissues (these are painless because there is nerve injury). The other problem with third degree burns is that since they are full thickness, they result in significant wound contracture, and eschar formation. The eschar normally has to be surgically debrided depending on the location and size, and frequently skin grafts are needed. Cosmetically this is not an easy problem to fix. I would definitely recommend a consultation with a dermatologist to evaluate the extend of the burns and scar, and possibilities for treatment. I hope that this is helpful. Best of luck.

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