Burn marks are constant reminders of painful thermal injuries. These appear as discoloured skin on face, neck, hands and legs. All of us have suffered from burns in some form or the other. This means that burn marks are a common complaint. Find out here about advanced medico-aesthetic treatments that can effectively reduce your burn marks right here!
What Are Burn Marks?
Burn scars are caused when our body gets in contact with a hot surface or fire. Sometimes, electricity, chemicals like acids, sun exposure, and certain radiations can also cause 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. Afterwards, collagen is produced naturally by our body to heal this area. While healing, the skin color 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.
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Complications Of Burn Scar Management
Since burn scars 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 functional damage to the skin as well.
Degrees Of Burn Injuries
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 burns – In 2nd-degree burns, the dermis layer of the skin is damaged. It can be caused by 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 burns – 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 burns – 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 functional damage to the body part as well. A burn scar treatment for these damages can take months.
Burn And Scars Types
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 permanent scarring of the tissues. A post-burn contracture scar can restrict the ability to move our muscles and bones as well.
Can Laser Therapy Help In Burn Scars 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 phototherapy. 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.
What Results Can You Expect?
Laser treatment may be helpful for almost all kinds of burn scar treatments, but they may not have a 100% result in removing each type of scar. Some scars may not be removed completely but they would benefit from a 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.
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Which Laser Is The Best For Removing Burn Marks?
- 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 the ablative procedure has opted. It evens out the bumpy burn scars and reduces skin redness. Dark spots appear to post the treatment but they peel off in a few days or weeks post the procedure.
- Q-Switched Laser – This Q switched laser treatment puts a 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.
- 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 pain by using multiple pulses. Though post-treatment the skin may look bruised for a couple of days your Dermatologistwill recommend a petroleum jelly or ice to comfort the same.
Burn Scar Laser Treatment Cost
Typically, a session for removal of 2nd-degree burn mark may have a price range between Rs. 10,000 and Rs. 20,000 per session. However, total cost associated with a surgical revision will be higher based on the injury casued by burn.
In most burn treatment centres, the price points remain variable and primarily depend on the laser technology used, the average number of sessions the degree of burn, the experience of the dermatologist and clinic location and reputation.
Dermatologists recommend 8 to 10 sessions of laser treatment to reduce a burn mark. However, your doctor will decide the exact number of sessions you need depending on the size of the target area and the severity of the burn mark. Please note that the price range mentioned here is indicative only and may vary from one city to another.
Other Non-Surgical Treatments
- Micro-needling – 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.
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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.