A burn accident can cause a high emotional impact, both for the inconvenience caused by the first stage of surgical intervention and the subsequent scarring. Besides the aesthetic component, the scarring also serves as a constant reminder of the accident.
Instituto Medico Laser Madrid offers its patients their Chapter of Burn Scars Treatment, a subspecialty within the IML Dermatology Unit that studies the improvement of these lesions using the most advanced laser technology.
Burn scars are the result of an accident that can affect the different layers of skin:
Most of these accidents are caused by domestic burns, the majority with oil or boiling water or by the use of electric appliances such as irons, although we have also treated burns by deflagrations in mines, sulphuric acid in cleaning workers and plumbers, as well as burns caused by gas explosions.
Burn scars usually present relief on the skin. They produce feelings of tightness and on occasion can limit motion functionality. For instance, when the scar is on the neck, flexion and extension can be limited, as well as rotation.
This type of scar can be treated using different techniques, from the infiltration of corticosteroids to the surgical excising, as well as different techniques of laser treatment.
The optimal treatment is that which is best suited to the characteristics of each scar, that is, its extension, location or degree of evolution, among others.
At IML, the choice of one or another technique is completely individualised, the dermatologist evaluates the specific needs of each patient, as well as their preferences. In order to offer the best personalized treatment, our dermatologists have the experience that practice and continuous training provides them, along with the most comprehensive laser technology platform in Spain.
As a result of the research work of our Dermatology Unit on treating burn scars, today we can say that ablative fractional CO2 laser provides satisfactory results for the remodelling of damaged skin, recovery of flexibility and aesthetic improvement of the scar.
The main factor in improving burn scars is the reordering and new production of collagen, two of the goals of treatment with ablative fractional CO2 laser.
At our clinic in Madrid we have advanced CO2 laser equipment that enables us to adjust different patterns of treatment, in order to adjust the procedure to the specific needs of each patient.
Water molecules in the dermis absorb energy from CO2 laser, which is applied by microscopic light beams separated from each other. Photothermolysis or thermal effect laser stimulates the production of new collagen and restructuring of elastic fibres already present, which influences tissue remodelling and skin flexibility.
Our dermatologists have noted that transepidermal administration of certain active ingredients, such as retinoic acid, can improve the result of burn scars, as this type of active substance participates in the formation of collagen.
To improve burn scars, several sessions are usually required, applied at an interval of approximately 4 to 6 weeks between each.
Each session is under 30 minutes, which may vary depending on the extent of the lesion. Following the session, the treated area may present redness or swelling over the next few days.
The patient can resume normal activity immediately after the session and we recommend they follow each and every guideline set forth by the dermatologist, such as applying sunscreen or home care of scars after the session.
The result of CO2 laser treatment can improve different factors of the burn scar, such as its colour, its relief, skin flexibility or its general aesthetic appearance.