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Dermal / deep dermal

Last reviewed dd mmm yyyy. Last edited dd mmm yyyy

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All of the epithelium and a variable depth of the dermis are injured.

There is erythema and blistering, which develop earlier and more dramatically, the deeper the burn. Blisters increase in size over the first few hours.

Shallow dermal burns blanch and are painful. Spontaneous healing occurs over 10-14 days with minimal scarring.

The skin of a deep dermal burn resembles that of a full thickness burn, except that it is red or pink. It is thickened, blanches poorly and has reduced sensation. Healing occurs over 25-35 days. Scarring and contractures are common, so skin grafting may be necessary.

Careful dressing and avoidance of infection are essential so as to prevent progression to full thickness.

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