Burn scars are the result of the wound healing, following a partial or full-thickness thermal injury. Thermal injury can frequently result in extensive scarring, which may have a profound psychological impact on the victim, serving as a visible reminder of a traumatic event. Dr. Zaydon can help you feel and look more physically appealing and regain that confidence that you once had.
Did you know that there are over 500,000 burn related ER visits each year? (Source: American Burn Association). Most of us have suffered a burn at some point in our lives, most often a thermal burn (read below to find out about other types of burn). However, fortunately, we do not usually require medical attention. For burns which are more serious, first aid is required, plus potentially plastic surgery to reduce any scarring. Keep reading to find out more about burns, their treatment, and plastic surgery.
What type of burns are there?
Burns are typically classified in two different ways. One is to classify the source of the burn. In which case, there are 3 causes of burns:
- Thermal burns
- Electrical burns
- Chemical burns
Depending on the circumstances, all three of them can be serious, and indeed life-threatening.
Burns can also be classified according to their severity. The least severe is known as a ‘first degree burn’, which refers to a reddening of the epidermis (the outermost layer of skin). ‘Second degree burns’ are when the dermis is affected, which is the layer of skin beneath the epidermis. The most severe type of burn is a ‘third degree burn’ which is when even the tissue below the dermis is affected.
Hypertrophic burn scars are notoriously difficult to treat because of their extensive tissue involvement and tendency to worsen with hypertrophy and contracture formation. Various therapies have been advocated in the past, including surgical excision and grafting, dermabrasion, and corticosteroids.
How to treat burns?
There are two main stages to treating burns:
1. First Aid for burns
Standard first aid for burns is to cool the burn with running cold water.
(Source: Red Cross).
There are several other first aid steps to take. Read the full list (provided by the Red Cross).
2. Plastic Surgery for Burns (Reconstruction)
In the event that your burn is more serious, you may be left with scarring. The good news is that plastic surgery can help reduce the appearance of scarring. There are many different procedures available, depending on the exact condition of your injury. Read more about plastic surgery for scars.
What if my burn is work related?
If you incurred your burn at work, or while performing work-related tasks, then the cost of medical treatment may be covered by your employer or their workers’ compensation insurance plan. Navigating the complexities of a work-related injury can add complexity to the issue, so working with a plastic surgeon who accepts workers’ compensation can make the process easier.
Plastic Surgery for Burns – Further information
Thomas Zaydon, M.D. is a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon who specializes in reconstructive surgery, including the treatment of burns. In addition to treating burns, he also frequently serves as a Plastic Surgery Consultant, Expert Witness, Expert Medical Advisor, provides IMEs, and Peer Reviews.
You may also be interested in reading our blog post about how to prevent burns.