Do Burns Scar and Heal Differently?

They sure do. Compared with other types of scars, burns tend to be slower to heal and the end result looks different than a scar from a clean cut or slash. However, burn scars can still respond to treatments such as Scarfade ointment, natural remedies and more invasive treatments. It’s important to know the differences with burn scars as compared with other types and what you can expect during the healing process.

Burn scars originate in many different ways. Perhaps you grabbed a scalding pot on the stove with your bare hands, or maybe you sustained a chemical burn in the lab. Many things can cause a burn besides boiling water and chemicals: flames, electricity, radiation and even the sun. How long it takes to heal will depend on how the burn was sustained and over how large an area.

There are generally three types of burns: first, second and third degree.

  • First degree burns involve burns of the first layer of the skin (epidermis). Redness and pain may result.
  • Second degree burns involve burns to the epidermis and dermis. Blistering may result.
  • Third degree burns are burns that involve damage to the bones and tendons, as well as nerves. The skin may turn white or black.

First degree burns will go away on their own in about a week, so you don’t have to see a doctor. Second degree burns will heal well with home treatment in about two weeks, but you may need to see a doctor if you notice signs of infection due to the blistering. For third degree burns, hospitalization is usually required, as well as skin grafts, the use of compression garments, surgery and physical therapy to regain motion in places where the skin has become tight from contractures. Scar healing in this case can take months or years.

Treatment to Minimize Scarring

Let’s concentrate on first and second degree burns in regards to reducing the appearance of any resulting scars. You likely don’t need any treatment for first degree burns that you sustained by, say, grabbing a hot pan, but for second degree burns, you will have to step things up a bit by:

  • Applying a thin layer of antibiotic ointment.
  • Covering the area with a sterile bandage to keep infection at bay.
  • Changing that bandage often and cleaning out the wound.
  • Applying silicone scar gel like Scarfade once the initial wound has healed. This will help fade the scar and reduce its appearance, if used as directed every day.  

How Different Types of Scars Heal

How your scar heals will depend on the type of burn you sustained. There are three types:

  • Hypertrophic scars are raised, red or purple, warm and itchy as they heal.
  • Contracture scars restrict movement because the skin, muscles, and tendons get tight throughout the healing process.
  • Keloid scars heal as shiny, hairless bumps.

No matter what kind of scar you have, you can use Scarfade on it. Reducing the appearance of scars is important to many people, especially in visible areas such as the face and arms.