Too Hot to Handle: 5 Ways You Can Get Burn Scars Treated

Burn scars can take about 1 week to up to a few years for it to completely fade. In addition, the suitable treatment to treat your burn scars depends on the type of scar you have along with how severe it is. Therefore, in this article, I will share with you what are the different types of scars that you may have and the ways to improve the appearance of your scars.

Read on to find out more!

In fact, not all burn scars are the same!

types-of-burn-scars

There are 3 types of burn scars:

1) Hypertrophic scars

These type of scars are usually raised, although rarely elevated more than 4 mm above the skin, red or pink in colour, hard and pruritic. Additionally, these scars do not extend beyond the general geographic margins of the wound and tend to regress over time [1].

2) Contracture scars

A scar contracture is the result of a contractile wound-healing process occurring in a scar that has already been epithelialised and adequately healed [2].

3) Keloid scars

They appear as firm, mildly tender and bosselated tumours with a shiny surface. In contrast, Keloid scars continue to evolve over time without a quiescent or regressive phase and tend to infiltrate the surrounding tissue [1].

How is the severity of a burn assessed?

severity-of-burns-scars

The severity of a burn is categorised as [3]:

The severity of a burn:Affects:Causes:
First-degree (superficial) burnOnly the outer layer of the skin.Pain, redness, and swelling.
Second-degree (partial thickness) burnBoth the outer and underlying layer of skin.Pain, redness, swelling, and blistering.
Third-degree (full thickness) burnThe deep layers of skin.White or blackened burnt skin. The skin may be numb.

What can I do to treat my burn scars?

treatment-burn-scars

Scars often form during the healing process. Moreover, minor burns usually heal without scarring. In contrast, second and third-degree burns will be more likely to scar.

If your scars cause distress in your self-esteem, impaired social life or are not fading over the years, then I highly recommend that you consult a doctor.

With that said, the treatments that may help you reduce the appearances of your scars are [4]:

  • Chemical peeling. There are various types of peeling available. By using a modified TCA peel, it can help to lighten the pigment. Moreover, there is no downtime.
  • Lightening creams.
  • Vitamin C iontophoresis is able to lighten the hyperpigmentation.
  • Lasers can reduce redness, pain and the hardness of the scars.
  • Corticosteroid injections can be used to treat some keloid as well as hypertrophic scars. Injections are usually given over a number of sessions usually about 4-6 weeks apart.

How to prevent scarring

When your burn scars take more than 2 weeks to heal, you will need ongoing treatment. To list, the treatments may include [5]:

  • compression garments
  • scar massage
  • silicone products
  • splinting
  • maintaining normal movement during daily activities.

In short

All in all, the amount of time in which the scars will take to heal depends on their types. In fact, it can take years for a severe scar to heal. Different types of burns will have different ways of treating them. Hence, it is possible to quicken the process of healing. So, do not fret and leave it to your trusted aesthetic doctor!


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Dr K K Chew practices aesthetic medicine and NU•U Aesthetics & Wellness Clinic located at Paragon since 2004. Besides that, Dr Chew is the past Vice President of the Singapore Society of Aesthetic Medicine and currently serves as its Honorary Advisor. He believes that every face and person is unique and everyone will have their own aspirations and visions.

Also, read more about Dr K K Chew in his Q&A here.


Read more: 8 Dermatologist Clinics in Singapore for Your Skin Concerns (2020)


References:

1. Rabello F, Souza C, Farina Jr J. Update on hypertrophic scar treatment. Clinics. 2014;69(8):565-573. doi:10.6061/clinics/2014(08)11

2. Brissett AE, Sherris DA. Scar contractures, hypertrophic scars, and keloids. Facial plastic surgery : FPS. 2001;17(4):263-272. doi:10.1055/s-2001-18827

This article was written by Dr K K Chew and published on Tuesday, 3 December 2019. Dr K K Chew medically reviewed the article on Tuesday, 3 December 2019. The last update was made on Monday, 3 February 2020.

Disclaimer: Opinions belong to the author and not to the platform.

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