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Healing phases for burn injuries

There are three main phases that burn injuries go through as they heal. The first is the stage where the initial wound heals. What was once an open would will slowly turn to skin that is typically very light in color. The quicker this process goes, the less scarring while happen when the healing is complete.

The second stage is the one where the scars begin to form. This is by no means an overnight process, and it can actually take anywhere from three to four months. The skin darkens, stiffens and rises up to form a rougher patch. There are rehabilitation methods aimed at reducing scarring, but it often cannot entirely be eliminated.

The final stage is the one in which the scar matures and ages. This can go on for the next 12 to 24 months. The scar may become more flexible and soft. It may turn to a normal color that is closer to your standard skin color. It can flatten out a bit. All in all, it may become less noticeable, though it will still clearly be a scar.

Again, there are rehab treatments that can help make it look as natural as possible. These could include stretching the scar and/or using pressure garments.

Burn injuries can be incredibly painful, they can last forever, and they can change the course of your life in many ways. They may cause you to lose some of your enjoyment in life, they could make hobbies you used to love impossible, and they could even make it harder to get a job. Make sure you know your legal rights to compensation for all of these things and more.

Source: MSKTC, "Understanding and Improving Body Image after Burn Injury," accessed Dec. 12, 2016

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