Anthony Lee - Jan 01 2020
How To Treat Burn Scars
Burn wounds are painful, and the healing process is a difficult one that leaves many patients with emotional and physical scarring. If you've ever experienced burn scars then you'll know that the scars themselves can be unsightly, painful, and in many cases can even restrict the movement of the patient. Medical technology has come a long way over the past few decades, and thankfully there are several treatment options available for patients who want to get rid of burn scars.
Before you're able to pick the right treatment for your burn scars, though, it's important that you understand some of the ABC's behind the skin's healing process, why burns cause scars, and how to treat burn scars effectively.
First, you have to understand your skin.
Understanding burns and how to heal them first requires a basic understanding of what we refer to as skin. The skin is comprised of 3 layers, each of which has different functions. The first layer, the epidermis, is the outermost layer and is the one that we typically think of when we talk about our skin. Its’ purpose is to keep external substances out while keeping your internal substances contained. The next layer, the dermis, is located below the epidermis. It contains important body utilities such as blood vessels, nerves, hair follicles, and sweat glands. The final layer, the subcutis, is located below the dermis and is the deepest below the surface of the skin. This layer is comprised mainly of fat cells, and it serves to conserve body heat and absorb the shock from impacts.
Will my burn result in a scar?
The different types of burns a patient can receive correspond with the skin’s layers that receive damage.
First Degree Burns. A first-degree burn occurs when the epidermis is exposed and burned. It will become red and inflamed, and it can be a little painful. First-degree burns typically take 7-10 days to heal and leave no scar.
Second Degree Burns. Second-degree burns occur when both the epidermis and the dermis are affected. Because the dermis contains nerve-endings galore, these can be very painful and sore. The skin becomes extremely red and hot and most of the time blisters form. Depending on the severity of this burn, it typically takes 2-3 weeks to heal completely. These burns do initially cause the affected area to change color, but this typically fades over time. Some scarring may occur.
Third Degree Burns. Third-degree burns occur when all 3 layers of skin are burned. This is the most serious type of burn, although they often aren’t painful because the nerve endings in the dermis are destroyed. Blisters don’t develop, but the skin can appear charred or white and waxy. These types of burns cause serious scarring and the more severe cases may even require surgery to heal them.
What Types Of Scars Are Caused By Burns?
Given the severity of the injury, most burn wounds result in the following types of scars: keloid scars, hypertrophic scars, or skin contractures. Keloid scars are hairless, red or pink-looking scars that are raised above the skin. They occur when the protein that creates scar tissue - collagen - is overproduced, causing the skin to protrude. Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloid scars but a little less intense - they also occur due to collagen imbalances, but don't protrude as far as keloid scars do and remain within the bounds of the original wound. Skin contractures, the third kind of scarring most likely to form with burns, occur when the skin surrounding the wound tightens and shrinks, resulting in tightness and restricted movement for the patient.
Burn Scar Treatments
The collagen that forms scars is active for 2 years post-injury before it begins to face. Getting proper treatment within this window is critical, otherwise the chances of your scars fully healing are drastically reduced! Burn scars are typically raised from the skin, so lowering them by addressing increased collagen production is crucial in making them less noticeable. There are a few different ways to do this, but one of the most effective is through the use of silicone based scar products - particularly medical grade silicone sheeting like Rejuvaskin's Scar FX products. The sheeting is placed over the affected area and works to decrease the production of collagen, preventing the scar from growing further while helping to flatten the scar and decrease its appearance.
While we know that for some patients scars can be a great reminder of the past or even a rite of passage, we also understand that many patients are looking for ways to get rid of burn scars so they can feel comfortable in their skin again. That's why we've created a variety of silicone-based products designed specifically to treat burn scars! Patients can pick from our medical grade silicone sheeting, pair it with our scar cream, or utilize our Silicone Scar Gel which is clear, non-comedogenic, and perfect for scars on more visible areas like the face.
No one wants to be scarred for life, whether that's emotional scars or damage to your confidence from an injury or physical scars that remind you of a traumatic incident. Fortunately, at Rejuvaskin we understand that scars don't have to be permanent; with the proper care they can fade back into your skin and be barely noticeable. Finding the right burn scar treatment for your specific needs is the first step towards ensuring that your scars heal properly, and when they do not only will your scars look better on the outside - you'll feel better inside too!
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