FAQs for Post Burn Care

Will my skin return to its natural color? 

While skin is healing it will regain its pigment, although it may never return to the same exact color. One way you can help this process, is to protect your skin from sun exposure. The sun can cause the skin to produce too much pigment and can cause a permanent “tan”. Use clothing, pressure garments, and sunscreen to protect your skin for up to a year after your burn injury.

Why is my skin so dry? 

The glands in our skin that produce oils are often damaged when burned. Applying lotion/ moisturizer frequently can help with this problem. Use lotions that have no irritants like perfumes and dyes as this new skin can be more sensitive to those. 

Why am I so itchy? 

The drier your skin is, the more likely it is to itch. The itching can also be caused by nerves regenerating in the tissue that had been burned. Frequent application of lotion can relieve this and over time the itching will lessen. You may want to talk with your care provider about medication options to help with itching also.
When can I go back to work/ school? This will generally be decided when your wounds are no longer open and put you at a higher risk for infection. Discuss this with your burn physician.

Will my skin stay so tight? 

If you follow your regimen of daily therapy to help stretch your skin as it heals it will soften as the skin heals and the scar tissue matures. 

Do I need to wear pressure garments? 

If you and your burn physician have decided that garments are necessary for your recover they should be worn for 23 out of 24 hours in the day as the scars heal. As they mature over time the garments will not be needed anymore. The pressure provided by garments help to prevent the collagen overgrowth that causes hypertrophic scars. 

Will I scar? 

Scars depend upon 2 major factors:
  1. The depth of your burn. The deeper your burn, the higher the likelihood of scarring.
  2. Your genetic make-up. If you or your family has a history of forming excessive scar tissue you are at higher risk of scarring badly.
There are things we can do to reduce the scarring no matter the reason. Discuss this with your physician and therapist to find what will work best for you.

How do I respond when people ask what happened to me?

If you rehearse what you will say before you are asked it can make it less difficult to answer in the moment. Include how and when you were injured, how you are doing now, and then thank them for asking. For example: I was burned when I fell into a campfire. I have worked really hard and am recovering well. Thanks for asking.