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Burn Scars and Pressure Garments

Some burns can heal without leaving any scars while other burns can leave wound scars after healing. Among the factors that determine the formation of scars is wound severity, superficial minor burns leave no scars when healing while deep severe burns such as second and third degree burns may leave scars after healing. when scars are formed whether they are hypertrophic or Keloids they may be difficult to treat. Cosmetic appearance of the scar form the patient’s main concern despite that hypertrophic scars and keloids may also cause pain, pruritus and pressure and/or contractures.

Treatment of scsars:

Treatment of scars may not be easy and there is a possibility of recurrance of scars even after treatment. Theraputic methods may include:

  • Surgery
  • Pressure garments
  • Massage therapy
  • Laser therapy
  • Cryosurgery therapy
  • Radiation therapy
  • Creams, Pasts and Gels
  • Silicone sheets

Pressure Garment:

Pressure garment is one of the methods used to treat burn scars. After being prescribed by the treating doctor, the Occupational therapist (OT) will take the exact measurements and the garments will be custom-made for the patient. Pressure garments are to be worn at all times day and night except during bathing and dressing changes. There should be two properly fitting sets of garments to alternate between them.

Ask your doctor about any question you have. Wash the garments eith by hand or by machine. For hand washing let the garment soak in warm water and laundry detergent for several minutes then rinse them well with clean warm water, roll the garment in a towel to soak up the extra water and leave them to be air dries. Aviod putting the garments in the dryer on in front of a heater or in the sunlight as this may destroy them and. For machine washing put the garment and laundry in warm water, put the washer on the gentle cycle and the air dry them. Avoid using hot water, dishwashing soap, bleach or cloth dryer and these may cause garment damage.

The doctor should be contacted if:

  • The garment is too tight or become loose.
  • There is swelling or redness or tingling sensation.
  • There is signs of wound infection such as fever, increase redness, increase pain, increase swelling, foul smelling dischage and bleeding.

For children, they have to be seen every three months as they may need to be measured for a new garment because the child’s body size is always changing.

As keloid scars differ in shape, size and causation from one person to another, the response to treatment also differ among different individuals therefore what might work for one person may not work for you and vise versa.

The combination of two or more treatment methods is usually more effective than using one method by itself and the recurrence is less when combining two or more methods together.

This information is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice; it should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Call 911 for all medical emergencies.

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