Burns or scarring from injuries can be a minor inconvenience or the bane of our existence. Did you know that our specialists at Yonge Cummer Rehabilitation Clinic can help you when it comes to recovering from an injury or healing your scar tissue? Using physiotherapy, acupuncture, and massage therapy is what enables us to help you treat your pain. In this post, we will briefly go over different types of burns and scars, as well as the steps you need to take to recover from them.
Types of Burns
Epidermis, dermis, and hypodermis are the three layers that make up our skin. The first, outer layer of the skin is epidermis. After that, the middle layer of your skin is called dermis. Dermis houses countless sweat glands and hair follicles. Lastly, the inner layer of your skin is known as hypodermis. Hypodermis consists of solely connective tissues and fat.
The reason we get “burned” is because when our skin makes contact with hot objects, flames, certain chemicals, and electrical wires, this contact can kill our skin cells. As you probably know, burns are divided into 3 main categories: first, second, and third-degree burns. These categories are determined by the severity of your injury. For instance, if the burn is in the form of a red patch of hardened skin, then you’re suffering from a first-degree burn. However, blisters are indicative of second-degree burns, and so on.
First-degree: As mentioned before, first-degree burns are the mildest of the three. The reason behind that is the fact that only epidermis, the outer layer of the skin, is impacted by this type of burn. First-degree burns are accompanied by redness and inflammation. The skin on the injured area will become dry overtime and eventually starts to peal as it heals.
Second-degree: Standing in second place on the burns intensity scale, second-degree burns are more penetrative than first-degree ones as they impact the dermis layer of the skin. Upon getting a second-degree burn, you will usually see extreme redness, as well as blistering. The discoloration might turn permanent and change the color of your skin to a lighter or darker shade long after the burn itself has healed. If that ever happens, the patient can use a skin graft surgery to restore the appearance of their skin.
Third-degree: As the name suggests, third-degree burns are the most extreme of the bunch. They will affect all three layers of the skin and might even go further and harm the muscles and bones on their way. With third-degree burns, the pigment of the skin might be permanently altered to a light or dark shade of skin with a leather-like texture. Third-degree burns might leave a painful scar tissue long after they’re healed. That is because when penetrating deeper layers of the skin, they can damage nerve endings. You can reverse some of the damage with a skin graft surgery. As for the pain, physical therapy can play a tremendous role in healing your pain.
Treating a burn depends on the intensity of it, as well as other factors such as the location of the burn, the patient’s age and health condition, and many more! In order to treat first-degree burns, you should immediately soak the impacted area in cold water or use a cold compress for a minimum of 5 to 15 minutes. You can also purchase special ointments that are designed to treat the burns, improve the pain, and heal the affected skin more quickly. First-degree burns usually heal in the span of one to two weeks, and they are normally treated at home. However, if you’re unsure if you should worry about anything, it’s always a good idea to contact your doctor.
As blistering begins, you will know that this is a second-degree burn you’re dealing with. To treat that, you should run cool water over the burn for at least 15 minutes. Still, the longer you do so, the better. There are some creams you can use to accelerate your recovery process at home. Still, give your doctor a call to make sure you’re moving on the right path to healing yourself.
Steam, chemicals, fire, or electrical outlets can all cause third-degree burns. They are not treatable at home and you should see a doctor immediately to seek proper medical help for them. Make sure to remove all clothing items and jewelries that are covering the injured area. Unlike first and second-degree burns, you don’t want to apply any water or lotion on top of third-degree burns. Go straight to a medical professional to seek help. After the burn has healed, you can use physiotherapy to help you regain motion. Many of these third degree burns can be caused by motor vehicle accidents. Fortunately, at Yonge Cummer Rehabilitation Clinic, you can also get physiotherapy services to improve pain and regain range of motion that you lost due to accidents through our physiotherapy for motor vehicle accidents services.
How Do Scars Happen?
Injuries to the skin, such as cuts and scrapes, can lead to scarring. Scarring is your body’s way of telling you that it’s healing itself. What really causes scarring is the damage to the second layer of the skin, or the dermis. During the process, the bacteria will be attacked by your white blood cells, which makes the color and the texture of the skin change. Since different injuries cause different scars, below, we have gathered some basic information for you to learn more about the different types of scars.
Contracture: These scars form because of burns. The skin becomes tight after the scarring; and depending on what degree the burn is, the muscles and the nerves can also be negatively impacted.
Keloid: Keloids are raised, lumpy scars. They usually take time to form and are caused by burns, piercing of the skin, scratches, or acne. One of the prominent features of keloids is their ability to grow much larger than the affected area.
Hypertrophic: Hypertrophic scars are another form of raised scars that are different from keloids despite having similar causes to them. They are however, smaller than keloids and only stay in the affected or injured area.
Acne: One of the many struggles of acne is scarring. When the acne is severe, scarring can happen. Picking at the area can also make things way worse. Ultimately, the skin will scar as it’s trying to heal itself and recover.
Treating a Scar
Just like burns, different types of scars are treated differently. For instance, minor scars can be treated by creams and ointments you can either buy from a drugstore or get them medically prescribed for you. They provide relief and speed up the healing process. By the time the scar becomes itchy, you can ask your doctor to prescribe special meds for you that can relieve the feeling and help you avoid touching the area, as it would impact your healing process adversely. Certain cases such as burn scars and keloids might require a skin graft or surgery to repair the scar. Steroid injections are also a way you can reduce swelling. If the scar tissue is preventing you from moving as you would normally, our physiotherapy services at Yonge Cummer Rehabilitation Clinic can help you restore your movements. On top of that, to treat your pain and relieve your aches, you can take advantage of our massage therapy and acupuncture services. Our registered massage therapist and registered acupuncturist come to the help of our physiotherapists to make you feel better!
When it comes to recovering from injuries that are caused by burning and/or scarring, Yonge Cummer Rehabilitation Clinic can help you. Our team will use a variety of techniques, such as physiotherapy and cupping therapy to help you regain motion and reduce pain. We also offer massage therapy and acupuncture services to relieve your pain. What’s better than that, is the fact that you can get all these services if you’re a refugee too. By providing us with the information of your refugee status, you can take advantage of our comprehensive physical therapy services for refugees. By using our integrated treatment plans, you can speed up your body’s natural healing process. Contact us today to get on a fast track to healing!