Best Tips to Remove and Prevent Burn Scars on Skin
Burns heal but the memories remain in the form of burn scars. Burn injuries could result from a small or big incident. Burns damage the skin cells and if it's on a larger area of the body, these injuries may affect your appearance. Scars often form during the healing process. You may escape from burn scars in minor burns, but most burn injuries leave burn scars. But you don't have to live with them permanently.
Degrees of Burn Scar
Burn scar treatment widely depends on how much area of the skin was burned, the intensity of heat, and the time of exposure. Depending on how much skin is affected by burn injury, burn scars are identified in 3 categories:
1. First Degree:
These are the lightest burn scars which affect only the skin's outer layer. First degree burns to cause redness and pain but they generally don't leave any scar behind. They heal in 6 days or so.
2. Second Degree:
Second-degree burns damage the layer beneath the epidermis. These burns can cause blisters and are most likely to scar. Second-degree burns usually take 2-3 weeks to heal.
3. Third Degree:
These are the most severe and painful burns that take the longest time to heal. Third degree burns damage not only the skin layers but also the bones and tendons. They affect the nerve endings and leave the skin black or white, taking a long time to heal. The scars caused by second or third-degree burns can be categorized into the following three types depending on their effects on the skin: - Hypertrophic: These scars are red or purple in color and are raised above the skin level. They can feel warm and itchy.
Contracture: These scars tighten the tendons, muscles, and the skin, making it hard to move.
Keloid: These scars cause a bump that is shiny and hairless.
How to Treat Burn Scars According to Severity?
Immediate treatment of burn can reduce the severity of pain as well as scarring. One thing to keep in mind that do not try any home remedies first, go to the doctor immediately to treat burns.
1. Treating First Degree Burns:
First degree burns heal and don't leave any scar on the skin. You can soak the affected area in cold water to reduce the immediate pain.
2. Treating Second Degree Burns:
People with second-degree burns need to see a doctor. These burns are smaller than the third-degree burns and don't require drastic treatments. The proper treatments for these burns are:
Antibiotic Ointment - Applying a thin layer of antibiotic ointment reduces the risk of infection and helps the burned area to heal faster.
Gauze - Covering the affected skin with a sterile and non-stick gauze protects the skin from infection and helps it heal faster.
3. Treating Third Degree Burns:
Third-degree burns are severe and require immediate medical attention. The treatment includes:
Compression - Compression garments are tight clothing which supports the affected area and help it heal. The pressure on the skin, because of the tightness, allows the skin to recover. It needs to be worn all day for several months for proper healing.
Skin Graft - Skin graft is plastic surgery where the doctor takes the healthy skin from another body part or a donor and covers the damaged or burned skin.
Surgery - Sometimes burn injuries can cause contractures or the sticking of parts of the skin, thus restricting movement. Surgery is required for release.
Physical Therapy - After surgery, physical therapy can help you regain regular motion in areas that have been tightened due to contractures. Precautions: Taking Care of Burns after Treatment
Now you know how to get rid of burn scars, but that doesn't mean all is done. You need to take special care of your skin and rehabilitate it to its previous condition. For that, you can follow the steps mentioned below:
Bathing - You can continue your usual bath routine but soaking in a bathtub should be avoided. Also, don't rub the affected skin, wash it gently, and use a soft towel. Apply medication as directed.
Sun Protection - UV rays from the sun can darken the burnt skin and create sunburn immediately. It needs to be away from direct sunlight at all times. It is recommended to use a sunscreen and wear protective clothing.
OTC Drugs - Absolutely avoid over-the-counter scar removal creams and lotions because they are no good.
Special Care for Dry Skin - The affected area can feel dry, scaly, and itchy. It's better to lubricate the skin until oil glands start working normally but avoid the lotions that have alcohol, lanolin, Vitamin A or E. You may use mineral oil.
Special Care for Sensitive Skin - Burnt skin, even though healing, can be extra sensitive and thinner than the normal skin. This skin can easily bruise or cause a blister. So it needs to be protected against sharp or rough surfaces and bumping against objects. Do not wear tight clothing or shoes.
Treating the burn scars depends a lot on the severity. Some burns take a long time to heal and require intensive treatment and care, while some heal themselves. But if proper attention is paid right away, your skin can be brought back to normal.
You can watch this video to know more about how to get rid of burn scars: