Thermal burns and chemical burns may cause scars, that are fibrous tissues formed on the site of injury. Scars occur naturally as a part of the biological process of healing. When the skin is damaged, it produces protein collagen that forms into thick, discolored cicatrix.
Though not causing pain and not being dangerous, scars are troublesome for many people because of their unattractive appearance. Some scars, e.g, contracture can cause limitation of movements in the affected area.
First-degree burns, when only the outer layer of the skin is damaged, normally heal up without scarring or can cause temporary scars that disappear over time.
There are three main types of burn scars:
Mostly, a patient wish is the main reason for scar removal, as they cause harm to the appearance, which is not considered a medical issue, and, normally, insurance plans do not cover this. Although in case of large keloid scars or contracture scars, there is also a medical indication to treat them. In any case, it is worth if you feel your life quality can be improved by scar removal. It is not only a physical condition but also a psychological problem for many people, especially, when the scars are on the face.
Presently, the main types of treatment for burn scars are:
Long time cosmetic surgery was the main type of scar revision. In this case plastic surgeon performs precise scar excision and accurately closes the wound to heal. The healing by primary intention, which possible when the wound is clear and no tissue loss is present, cause less scarring than burn and you have a good chance to improve your scars.
However, for keloid scar there is a high probability (up to 45%) of scar recurrence, as keloids tend to grow again. That is why doctors in Germany prefer to combine surgery with other kinds of scar therapy, such as radiotherapy or laser healing.
Carbon dioxide lasers (fractional ablative lasers) are widely used for treatment of contracture scars and keloid scars. Ablation is total removal of tissues, similar to vaporization, done by a laser beam. The scar tissue literally disappears. Fractional ablative laser, indeed, consist of numerous tiny beams and which of them drill a micro-tunnel in the target tissue. Causing a new injury to the scar tissue and, thus, reshaping the scar by stimulating natural processes. Using deep ablative laser for remodeling of inner tissues and superficial ablative laser for resurfacing of outer tissues, it is possible to enhance appearance and functionality of the scar tissues significantly.
Healing after laser burn treatment takes from 2 weeks to 1 month. The scar turns red and can swell; the skin becomes dry after the procedure and start peeling in 4-5 day, which is normally. Not much pain is expected.
German cosmetic surgeons use lasers as independent treatment and in combination with surgery or other treatments. Every case is decided individually and the best method of treatment is chosen based on the patient’s situation.
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