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Phone: 480-963-9000
Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona

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Chandler Office

  • 595 N. Dobson, Suite D-71
    Chandler, AZ 85224
  • Phone: 480-963-9000
  • Toll Free: 877-866-2417
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Gilbert Office

  • 2680 S Val Vista Drive
    Gilbert, AZ 85295
  • Phone: 480-981-1800
  • Fax: 480-981-0229
  • Toll Free: 877-866-2417
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  • Suite #177, Building #14
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Getting Bad Grades: Burns on Your Feet

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Kids outsideEvery year as fall arrives, kids are not only moving on to the next grade level in school, but also hoping to score great grades on their schoolwork—the higher the number the better! It’s just the opposite when we talk about classifying burns on your feet. There, higher numbers mean you are getting bad grades and the injury is more severe. Let’s look at the various degrees of burns and how they are treated:

First-degree burns involve only the topmost layer of the skin—the epidermis. An example is a sunburn. The skin may look red and be painful and dry, but no blisters appear, and the skin recovers without long-term harm to the tissue, although the surface layer will eventually peel away, leaving new skin underneath. (There may be an increased risk of developing cancer in those areas later. This grade of burns is treated with cold therapy, lotions, and any mild pain relievers we prescribe.

Second-degree burns go deeper, involving the dermis layer as well as the surface. Scalding water, chemicals and electrical burns, and flames can cause this type of damage. Blisters are likely at this level, as well as wetness, swelling, and redness, and there will be more pain as well. These should be seen by a medical professional. Treatment usually involves antibiotic ointments, frequent cleaning and dressing changes (which can be painful), and possibly oral antibiotics as well.

Scalds, electricity, chemicals, and flames can also cause third-degree burns, but the damage extends beyond the epidermis and dermis layers and reaches deep into the subcutaneous layer of tissue. The area may look white, charred, or leather-like, but pain is often not present because of nerve damage. This level of burn requires medical attention, because skin will not grow in these areas again naturally. Treatment includes cleaning, debriding, and dressing changes, as well as intravenous fluids and antibiotics and skin grafting or cosmetic reconstruction.

You get the picture by now, so you probably realize that fourth degree burns are the worst of all. They extend into the muscles, tendons and bones. Because the nerves in the area are totally destroyed, there is no feeling, and healing will not occur without medical treatment.

Our foot doctors can recognize the grade of burns on your feet and provide or arrange for proper treatment for them. If you suspect any damage beyond a mild grade one burn, don’t delay and give infection a chance to take hold. Call Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona right away at (480) 963-9000 in Chandler or (480) 981-1800 in Gilbert, AZ to set up your appointment and receive treatment that can help your feet heal.

Dr. David Laurino
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