After a burn, scars may develop. They’re a bit different than scars you would get, say, from a cut. As your skin heals from a burn, it will form areas of thick, discolored skin, which develop after damaged skin causes skin cells to perish. The area will look smooth and shiny, starting off red and eventually turning pink or white.
Your body produces a protein (AKA collagen), which repairs the damaged skin, leading to the formation of a scar. How quickly the scar will fade will depend largely on the severity of the burn.
As far as how to care for them, scar creams and gels work on most burn scars, but again, this will depend on the severity and type of burn you have. Burns result when your skin touches something hot, such as a stove top or the pipe of a motorcycle, or when you get splashed with boiling water. But it can also burn when you’ve had too much sun, or exposure to certain chemicals or electricity.
1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree Burns
Burns are put into one of three categories. They are classified according to the amount of skin they affect and how deeply the burn has gone. How badly you scar will depend on which category you are in. The main types of burns are:
- First-degree burns: Damaging the outer layer of the skin, these burns cause redness and pain, and heal within about a week without scarring.
- Second-degree burns: Affecting both the epidermis and the layer under the skin (dermis), these burns come with pain, redness, and blisters. It takes a few weeks to heal from these and you may scar slightly.
- Third-degree burns: The most severe type, third-degree burns damage the top two layers of skin, along with the bones, tendons and even nerve endings. The area may appear white or black initially, with scarring being very likely. They will start off red, then turn white later.
Types of Scars
Scars caused by second- and third-degree burns will appear differently on the skin as well as how they affect the skin:
- Hypertrophic scars: Red or purple in color, these scars are often raised, feeling warm and itchy.
- Contracture scars: These scars will tighten up the skin, muscles, and tendons, making normal skin movement fairly difficult.
- Keloid scars: These scars will form a hairless, shiny bump.
How to Reduce Burn Scars
Fast treatment and comprehensive wound care is the #1 way to prevent or reduce the appearance of scars. Many scars do fade over time, with the exception of keloid scars. These need extra treatment to minimize how they appear. Encourage the healing process by applying a silicone gel as directed, such as Scarfade.
Research has revealed that this type of gel reduces the appearance of scars, lessening their size, stiffness, and redness. Don’t neglect protecting your scar from the UV rays of the sun – apply at least SPF 30 sunscreen every time you go outside, and it’s a good idea to also wear protective clothing. With too much exposure to the sun, your scar could get darker and more noticeable.
Pick up some Scarfade today and you’ll see the difference!