Burns scars are skin wounds caused by thermal, electrical, or chemical sources. This is the most common household injury. Most burns heal without any serious health problems but it leaves a scar.
Burns can leave permanent scars on the skin's outer surface, giving an ugly appearance. Scars can be small or large. Burn marks can be treated with laser therapy, With the advancement of laser treatments, there is an improvement in the texture and appearance of scars.
Every year, nearly half a million people are victims of burns. Burns happen accidentally. Both infants and adults face some kind of burning in life. Children are at a higher risk for accidental burns. Scalding (burning with hot liquid or steam) is very common in children.
If the scar is on the face or neck or any visible area it causes emotional distress. This needs specialized care. Research has concluded that lasers can lead to both functional and cosmetic improvement. It is an aesthetic procedure for scar treatment with high patient satisfaction. It also proved that scars continue to improve with each laser session.
What are burn scars?
Burns are injuries to the skin caused by thermal, chemical, sunlight, or electrical appliances. Scars are the marks on the skin seen after a wound has healed. Scars are a form of the body's natural healing process.
What are the main causes of burns?
Causes of burn can be:
- Thermal burns: These are hot surface burns like hot liquids, steam, hot meals, and flames. When hot surfaces come in contact with the skin, it raises the temperature of the skin. It also causes cell death or charring of tissues.
- Electrical burns: Sources of burn can be from electrical current.
- Chemical burns: Strong acids and few detergents are chemical sources for skin burns.
- Radiation burns: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun causes radiation burns.
What happens after a burn?
Burn damages the skin cells and this cell dies. Dead cells damage the skin. They produce a protein (collagen) to repair it. In the beginning, burnt skin looks pink or red. The collagen helps the skin to heal with a thickened, discolored area. This discolored area is called a scar. The scar is brownish. It is itchy and painful many times. Some scars are temporary and others are permanent.
What are the symptoms of burns?
Symptoms depend on the degree of burn. Depending on the degree of burn, there can be blisters, pain, swelling, and peeling skin.
Below are the degrees of burn injuries. They are characterized by their severity:
- First-degree (superficial) burns: First-degree burns are milder and more superficial burns. They are seen on the outer layer of skin called the epidermis. It looks red, dry, non-blistered, and painful. There is minimal damage to the skin. This type of burn heals within 7-10 days.
- Second-degree (partial thickness) burns: This is considered partial thickness. It involves the epidermis and part of a deep layer of skin called the dermis. Second degrees of burns are more painful. They appear red, blistered, and swollen. They heal within 3-4 weeks.
- Third-degree (full thickness) burns: This burn damages the complete epidermis and dermis. It partially involves bones, muscles, and tendons. This requires specialized treatment. It is white and leathery in appearance.
- Fourth-degree burns: Burns are more severe involving nerves with bones, muscles, and tendons. Sometimes, there is no sensation in the burn area. They have a noticeable scar on the burn area.
What are the types of scars?
The scar can be classified into size and severity. Different types of scars are:
- Hypertrophic scars are elevated red or pink scars with excessive deposits of collagen.
- Hyperpigmented scars are loss of pigment. The skin appears darker.
- Erythematous scars are red scars with swollen superficial blood vessels in the skin
- Contracture scars are thick. They tighten muscles and skin.
- Keloids are pink or purple elevated scars. They expand and are more noticeable.
- Atrophic scars are depressed ice picks or rolling scars.
When to see a doctor?
The first degree of burn heals within a few days without any scar. But the second degree leaves prominent scars. If you are concerned about the burn mark, then consult a doctor.
What is the treatment option for burn scar?
There are various options available for burn scar treatment. Each treatment has its advantages and disadvantages. The most suitable plan can be tailored after the doctor's assessment of the scar.
- Nonsurgical treatment:
- Applying silicone gel
- Steroid injections
- Laser treatment:
Treatment with laser therapy depends on age, overall health, and degree of burn.
This is a safe, non-invasive, and outdoor treatment.
- Anesthesia is given to sedate the patient.
- Surgeons use a special device (fractional ablative carbon dioxide laser) to make small holes in the burn scar. This breaks scar tissue into softer, and smoother skin. A new healthy layer of skin is formed.
- A medicinal solution is applied to the scar. It is absorbed into the holes. This solution also contributes to scar improvement.
- Complications after laser treatment:
Minor skin infections, bleeding, and pigmentation are seen after the laser treatment. But it subsides with medication.
- Surgical treatment:
- Skin graft: This is a surgical procedure. The doctor removes skin from one area of the body and fixes it to the burn area.
Who qualifies for laser treatment?
The burn scar that is due to surgery, hot surface burn, illness (chickenpox), or accident can opt for laser treatment.
Who is not qualified for laser treatment?
Connective tissue disorder, skin infection, pregnant or breastfeeding lady.
What are the precautions to be taken after the laser treatment?
The patient should take rest and gently clean the surface. Avoid scratching and apply cool packs. Take medicine as advised by the doctor.
Are the results of the treatment permanent?
The laser can remodel scarred tissue and result in soft and smoother skin. It improves and allows the human body to create more rapid healing. Remodelling of the scar tissue to a more natural appearance.
We understand the visible scar can be unpleasant. If you are experiencing a burn scar issue, schedule an appointment at UnCover or call (+91)9752007200.
At UnCover, along with advanced technology, we have the most experienced, reliable, and best dermatologists. Our experienced and knowledgeable team is committed to providing personalized, accessible, cost-effective, and tailored aesthetic treatment with advanced, and safe technology.
- How many sessions are needed?
Doctors recommend 6-7 laser sessions depending on the area and size of the burn scar.
- Which scars are treated with lasers?
Hypertrophic and contracture scars are more elastic. They can also show much better results with laser therapy.
- How to treat burns at home?
Keeping the burn area under flowing tap water will relieve the pain and burning sensation of the skin. Quick treatment will reduce scar formation. This is just a temporary relief. This needs specialized care from talking to the doctor. Consult the doctor for further treatment.
- Which are the different types of lasers for removing burn scars?
Fractional lasers, Q-switched lasers, and Pulsed dye lasers are a few of them.
- Which is best among them for burn scar treatment?
The best laser for burn marks is the Fractional laser. This can treat new or old, or severely burned scars. This laser stimulates new tissue growth. Replacing scar tissue with a new healthy layer of skin.
- What is the laser treatment cost for burn marks at UnCover?
The burn scar laser treatment cost depends on the severity and degree of burns. The estimated price can be between Rs 2,000 and 20,000. It's best to get connected to a dermatologist for detailed treatment costs.