Post Burn Care
Skin care is mandatory following the healing of burn injuries,
Newly healed skin is sensitive to sun. People should avoid unnecessary sun exposure as much as possible after a burn injury. If it is not possible to keep burns covered with clothing, a high protection factor sun block should be applied.
Newly healed skin is frequently sensitive to extremes of temperature and a tepid bath or shower will be more comfortable. A mild non-perfumed soap will minimise sensitivities. Bath oils may minimise the tendency for skin to become dry and scaly. All efforts should be made to avoid getting soap in unhealed wounds.
Application of moisturiser
Moisturiser should be applied at least twice daily to healed skin due to the damage to natural oil secreting glands. Ensure the skin has been adequately cleansed to avoid build up of residue and minimise pore blockage.
Itching is a common problem, especially in the first few months after healing. Occasionally it is severe and intractable, interfering with sleep and producing recurrent wound breakdown due to scratching. It is important to try not to scratch.
Lukewarm showers, bath oil, colloidal oatmeal products, and moisturisers may help with itching. Sometimes medication such as antihistamines may be needed for persistent disruptive itching.
Blisters and Cysts
Newly healed skin may remain fragile for many months. It may be prone to blistering and require some kind of protective dressing or garment. Occasionally small cysts will form in a healed area. These look similar to pimples, but are not usually infected. Blisters and cysts generally resolve without the need for any treatment. If problems are persistent, they should be further investigated.
Scarring & Contracture
It is difficult to predict the severity of scarring that may occur as a result of burn injury. Scarring depends on the size, location and depth of the burn, as well as age and skin type. Minor burns if healed in an appropriate amount if time- less than 10 days should not leave long term cosmetic defects.
Following deeper burns injuries, scar formation and maturation may take up to two years. If required, refer to the outpatient burn services for scar management.