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SCARRING

Normal, undamaged skin is made up of tissues in the dermis. These tissues form a three-dimensional mesh of collagen fibers that are aligned parallel to the skin's surface. The skin applies pressure against its underlying layers, and under normal circumstances, this pressure ensures that injured skin in replaced in its original state without scarring.

When burns destroy the skin, the normal pressure from the papillary dermis no longer exists. Without this pressure, hypertrophic scars will form irregularly, causing possible deformities. Compression can be applied in many ways, including garments, bandages and taping. Depending on the position of your scar, how old your scar is (even old scars can be treated), and you individual circumstances, your therapist will discuss with you the best way to use compression, and optimum wearing times. If you are feeling that your compression is just not working for you, or that it is increasing your feelings of discomfort (such as itch and sweating), it is important to discuss this with your therapist about how this could be changed and improved rather than just stopping it all together.

Tip - If you get hot in your garments, use a spray bottle full of water to spray yourself. Then let the breeze cool you down.

After a person has had a serious injury, such as a significant burn, they may need rehabilitation to help them recover and maximize their ability to participate in activities at home, work and the community. Rehabilitation for burns involves physiotherapy (often called physio), and in some cases, occupational therapy (OT).

Patients who have had a significant burn will usually start having physio early in their treatment. The main reasons for having physio are to:

  • keep the joints (e.g. elbows, knees) moving, and to help prevent them tightening up (called a ‘joint contracture’) from tight, damaged skin

  • keep the muscles working for normal movement

  • reduce scarring.​​

  • Physiotherapists may use splints, pillows or custom-made wedges to position your joints while they are in bed, to help prevent the joints from becoming stiff or contracting (tightening up). The physiotherapist will provide you with a program for the correct resting positions for you and, together with the nursing staff, will assist you with following the program.

  • If you have sustained an inhalation burn or remains resting in bed for a long time, the physiotherapist may teach you deep breathing exercises or blowing exercises. These will help to prevent respiratory complications.

  • It is essential you regularly stretch the affected joints. This is often done with splints and positioning in the beginning.

  • Bed exercises are important in the early days and weeks of recovery to keep your muscles working. The effects of pain and any surgery will be considered by the physiotherapist when planning exercises.

  • You will be helped to start moving and walking as soon as possible. This depends on which areas of the body have been burned.

PHYSIOTHERAPY

Remember, If you don't use it you will loose it.
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