Evaluating Burns on the Feet

Just like any other part of the body, the feet can get burned. Treatment will depend upon what caused the burn—fire, the sun, oil, hot water, chemicals, etc.—and how severe the burn is. When you burn your foot, take a look at the affected area to see if you can judge the severity by figuring out the degree of your burn.

First Degree Foot Burn

This is also called a superficial thickness burn because only the epidermis—the outermost layer of skin—has been injured. You probably have a first-degree burn if it is red and slightly painful, but it is not blistering or an open wound. This should heal on its own with basic first aid and at-home treatment, so you probably will not need to see a doctor.

Second Degree Foot Burn

This is also called a partial thickness burn and it is the most common type of burn to the foot. It has the same redness and pain as a first-degree burn, but then it will also have blistering and a wet appearance. Depth of the burn can vary, so it's important to visit a doctor to get a professional opinion as to what the next treatment steps should be.

Third Degree Foot Burn

This is a very serious burn and if you have one, you probably know that by now. These burns go below the dermis and extend into the subcutaneous tissue. The upside is that you probably don't feel any pain; the downside is that you are pain-free because you have nerve damage. Third-degree burns are dry to the touch and can be any number of colors—red, white, black, gray, or brown.

Higher Degree Burns

Fourth-degree burns extend into the muscle, and fifth degree all the way to the bone. If you have these injuries, you need immediate emergency medical care. The focus of care will be on saving your life, with a secondary goal of saving your limb.

If you have a burn on your foot and you believe that it is any degree other than a first-degree injury, contact the Gastonia office of InStride Gaston Foot & Ankle Associates. Our Center for Wound Healing specializes in foot wounds, including serious burns. Call 704-861-0425 today for an appointment or contact us! 

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InStride - Gaston Foot & Ankle Associates

251 Wilmot Drive
Gastonia, NC 28054