Getting scars from burn is pretty common for anyone. A lot of people experience unwanted burns that can leave a permanent scar on their skin. So the most important question that arises here is do laser help in removing burn scars and can all kinds of burn scars be removed permanently? Though, with the advancement in the technology, it has become possible to perform a successful burn scar treatment. There are several degrees of burn scars on hand, face, and other parts of the body, and there are different ways to treat various degrees of burn scars.
What Are Burn Scars?
Burn scars are caused when our body gets in contact with a hot surface or fire. Sometimes, electricity, chemicals like acids and certain radiations can also cause a burns. Depending on the nature of the burn, it can be shiny, depressed, raised, smooth, or of any other texture. When our skin gets damaged due to a hot object or fire, it burns the skin tissues. Afterward, collagen is produced naturally by our body to heal this area. While healing, the skin colour might change and can even lead to pigmentation. Some burn marks might heal over time while others can be permanent. There are 1st degree, 2nd degree, 3rd degree and 4th degree of burn scars depending upon the strength of the burn.
Are Burn Scars Different from Other Scars?
Since burn scars on face and skin are more severe than other scars (usually caused by pimples or acne), they are generally tougher to heal. Our body takes more time to perform burn heal naturally. Also, the collagen produced after a burn scar is not ideal in most of the cases. Therefore, it leaves a permanent mark due to its severe effects on the skin. Sometimes, even a 2nd degree burn scar can leave a permanent mark and cause a functional damage to the skin as well.
Degrees of Skin Burns
A burn can occur on any part of our body and cause evident damage to our skin. On the basis of the severity of the burn, it can be distinguished as follows.
- 1st Degree burn –
When a burn only affects epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) with least severity, then it is classified as a 1st degree burn. Mostly caused by touching a hot object, it makes the skin dry and forms red rashes. Sometimes, it can lead to mild swelling as well. Over the counter medicines can be used for the burn marks treatment of this kind.
- 2nd Degree burn –
In 2nd degree burns, the dermis layer of the skin is damaged. It can be caused by a direct contact with a hot object or fire. It leads to blisters and the development of 2nd degree burn scars. These scars can be formed on any body part and can lead to the pigmentation of the skin.
- 3rd Degree burn –
Besides epidermis, a significant amount of dermis is destroyed in 3rd degree burns. They are caused by being in contact with a hot object or fire for a few seconds. It destroys healthy skin tissues and develops a red/white wound. Apart from blisters, it can also form pus, which further decolorizes the skin.
- 4th Degree burn –
This is the most severe degree of burn and can leave a permanent scar on the skin. In this, the underlying muscles and nerves can also be damaged by burning the dermis layer. If the burn reaches the bones, then it can cause a functional damage to the body part as well. A burn scar treatment for these damages can take months.
What Are The Various Types of Burn Scars?
In order to understand how to get rid of burn scars, it is important to learn how a burn heals. Ideally, a burn scar can be categorized as follows –
- Hypertrophic Scars
A hypertrophic scar occurs when the collagen is deposited above the skin. It can turn the skin red or blue and raises it above the ideal level. These scars are mostly itchy.
- Keloid Scars
When the production of collagen is even more than the hypertrophic scars, then it can form a Keloid. In these scars, a bump or lesion is formed on the skin. They are categorized by a shiny texture or fibrous lumps.
- Contracture Scars
Contracture scars tighten the skin (and sometimes even the muscles) and lead to a permanent scarring of the tissues. A post burn contracture scar can restrict the ability to move our muscles and bones as well.
Can Lasers Help In Burn Scar Removal?
Laser burn scar removal is one of the most common and highly recommended treatments. This is a non-invasive process that is based on photo therapy. In this, narrow and controlled laser beams are used to repair the damaged skin cells. It boosts the production of collagen and reduces the occurrence of burn scars substantially. The laser treatment for burn scars is performed in multiple sessions and doesn’t have any drastic side effect. It is also known as an anti-ageing treatment since it can remove wrinkles and fine lines as well.
What Is Laser Resurfacing?
Another advanced laser-based solution to treat burn marks is laser resurfacing. Mostly, Erbium or Carbon Dioxide laser beams are used to dissolve the bonds between the molecules of the damaged skin tissues. The damaged skin cells are tactfully targeted and are automatically peeled off. This gives a chance to young skin cells to grow, which resurfaces the skin.
Also Read: White Scars – Causes, Treatments & FAQ’s
What Are The Different Types Of Laser Devices Used for Burn scars Removal?
- Pulsed dye laser – It targets reddened areas on the burn scar and thus removes the unwanted blood vessels. It just treats a small area on the skin in every trial, thus decreases the inflammation and redness in the process. It also reduces the pain by using multiple pulses. Though post treatment the skin may look bruised for a couple of days but your Dermatologist will recommend a petroleum jelly or ice to comfort the same
- Q-Switched laser – This Q switched laser treatment puts huge amount of light energy in a very small amount of time, at the injured site. Thus breaking up the pigmented particles like asphalt. White spots may appear when laser beam targets your skin but eventually it will fade away. The body cells clear the broken pigments with several sessions of the treatment.
- Fractional laser – Fractional laser device targets the water within our skin thus heating up small portions of skin tissue or even drilling tiny holes in the skin, if ablative procedure is opted. It evens out the bumpy burn scars and reduces skin redness. Dark spots appear post the treatment but they peel off in a few days or weeks post the procedure.
What Is The Cost Of Burn Scar Removal In India, Using laser Technology?
Cost of laser treatment for burn scar removal depends on several factors like degree of burn, area to be treated and the kind of skin tone. It may begin at around Rs. 1,000 and may go upto Rs. 45-50,000 or more; for severe burn marks reduction. The results would take some time to show up and normally a few sessions are required to get rid of prominent burn scars. Your dermatologist would be able to explain the course of a procedure and the cost estimate depending upon the degree of burn.
Can Laser Treatment Be Used For All Kinds Of Burn Scars?
Laser treatment may be helpful for almost all kinds of burn scar treatments, but they may not have 100% result in removing each type of scar. Some scars may not be removed completely but they would benefit from reduction in appearance. While many other kinds of burn scars would go away completely but this would be possible only after multiple sessions as determined by your dermatologist.
Other treatments for burn mark reduction
- Micro needling for burn scars – This is a widely used skin rejuvenation technique in which microscopic needles are punctured to the skin. This disrupts the dermis layer and boosts the production of collagen. The treatment is mostly used to learn how to remove burn marks from hand and face on the upper layer of the skin.
- Skin grafting, skin flap surgery, dermabrasion, steroid injections and cryosurgery as some more invasive procedures for burn scar removal
Beware of the risks and complications of burn scar treatments, as they may lead to serious repercussions. Learn about the prevention measures for burn scars as they may prevent a minor scar from getting severe. These include healing a burn at an early stage to avoid having burn scars on hand or any other body part. Visit an expert dermatologist for detailed insights.