Treatment for Burn Scars

Written by jessica lietz
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Burns to the skin can be a result of exposure to intense heat, electricity, sunshine or chemicals, and can cause injuries that range from mild to life threatening. According to the Merck Manual of Medical Information, treatments for scars caused by burns depend on the location and severity of the scar, as well as whether complications such as tissue loss, infections or shock occurred during the injury.

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Steroids

Medical treatments with either topical or injected steroids can be used to reduce scars caused by burns, according to the Mayo Clinic. Steroids such as cortisone can be injected into the skin by a dermatologist to reduce inflammation and pain caused by burn scars. Steroid creams are prescription medications that can also be used to treat burn scars.

Topical Treatments

Topical treatments such as silicone gels can be used to reduce scarring from burns, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Academy of Dermatology. Use of compression or tapes over the burnt area can promote healing and decrease the development of irregular or abnormal pigmentation of new skin as it grows over the burn. Existing scars caused by burns may benefit from topical treatments, which may precede surgical treatments.

Surface Treatments

Treatments to the surface of the skin where burn scars are located may be performed by plastic surgeons to help blend the appearance of the scar with nearby skin. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, techniques for skin blending of scars may include laser therapy or dermabrasion. Skin bleaching is a technique that may be used on scars that have a significantly different colour than the surrounding skin.

Freezing

Freezing of the skin around a burn scar, referred to as cryosurgery, may be an effective way of removing scars, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Liquid nitrogen is a chemical that can be used to freeze the skin, which then forms blisters and peels away, including the areas that were scarred. The new skin may have a more uniform texture and appearance.

Surgery

People with deep burn scars or scars on body parts that move frequently, such as the face, may require surgical treatments. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, grafts of skin from other areas of the body may be surgically transplanted to repair an area with burn scars. Plastic surgeons may use artificial skin and tissue to treat severe burn scars that do not have enough surrounding skin to be closed properly.

Alternative Medicine

Mild burns and small scars may benefit from treatments of extracts taken from the aloe vera plant, as an alternative to traditional medical treatments, according to the Mayo Clinic. Burns that are not severe may heal faster if treated with extract from the aloe vera plant. Using aloe may reduce itchiness and dryness on or around a scar or wound caused by a burn to the skin, including sunburns.

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