you have sustained a burn injury, you may develop a hypertrophic
scar. The burn staff will let you know when it becomes evident,
usually 4 weeks or more from the time of injury. The hypertrophic
scar will progress over the following months. This type
of scarring tends to occur where there is tension on the
wound, especially around the joints where contracture may
The chances of developing hypertrophic scars are higher
if the burn wound was infected or did not close in around
HOW DO WE ASSESS YOUR
affect different aspects of your life such as: function,
appearance and self-confidence, interaction with other people,
family and partner.
Worldwide, wound healing research programs are trying to
find solutions for a better scar.
Nowadays, there is a variety of methods to decrease and
to control scar formation. You may use one or more of these
methods to improve your scar appearance.
It is important to review the scars repeatedly in order
to assess how they respond to different methods of treatment.
Scar formation is a dynamic process that takes up to 18
months, or until the maturing process is complete.
The Vancouver Scar Scale is a commonly used assessment tool
and includes the physical (size, shape, colour, texture)
and mechanical characteristics of a scar.
There is a lot to be
discussed about scar formation and how scar matures.
You have to be aware that there is as yet no treatment that
will get rid of scar completely, not even surgery. You may
have the scar(s) for the rest of your life. With present
methods, we can improve the texture, the appearance and
the function of the involved area
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Scar after skin graft
Scar after deep burn
Once your scar
is healed and strong to resist pressure, massage should
be incorporated into scar management. Frequent massage of
the affected areas showed good results in preventing contractures
and making the scar softer and more pliable. A deep massage
breaks down the underlying tissue and stretches fresh scars.
Massage with moisturizing cream reduces the itchiness and
the pain by a desensitizing process. Scar massage is performed
two or three times a day and combines with other methods
(physical therapy, pressure garments, silicone gel).
PHYSICAL THERAPY (PHYSIOTHERAPY)
Physical exercise is an integral part of burn rehabilitation
and should start while you are in the hospital as soon as
possible. The aim of the physical exercise is to maintain
and improve the functionality of the burned areas and to
maintain the total body strength during the hospital stay
and the recovery period. Physiotherapist will see you the
next day after admission and will establish a plan with
exercises tailored to your needs. The physiotherapist will
teach you these exercises, which you could be able to perform
later on, without supervision.
Your input and cooperation is important for us and for your
rehabilitation process, especially while you are at home.
New exercises will be added to increase the range of movements,
mobility and to prevent contractures.
Walking is a
considered as a physical exercise and may represent the
primary goal if you have sustained large burns. For patients
with less severe burns, walking will help them to return
to an active lifestyle and will prevent weakening of the
If you have sustained burns to your extremities, they will
be swollen for the next few months and exercises will try
to reduce the swelling. Other benefits of physical therapy
O Maintain and improve the function of the involved joints,
O Maintain the muscle strength,
O Decrease the incidence of blood clots in your veins, and
Improve the bone density.
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Wound healing with