How to Remove, or Reduce Scald Burns?

At 17 months old, I scalded my chest with boiling water. The chest had areas of first, second, and third degree burning. After the scald I was in and out of hospital for a few months, and received two skin grafts on the area. The doctor advised my parents that the area would be light sensitive, and to regularly rub vitamin E cream on the affected area, but as I was very young I don't know how frequently this occurred.

Doctor Answers 4

Options for old scars

We are glad that you are considering options inasmuch as technology has improved by leaps and bounds to address these scars.

We routinely use the pulsed dye laser to fade out the redness of new and old scars.  Oftentimes, this will then lead to improvement with texture as well whether lasers are used alone or in combinations with other modalities.

You may want to research the use of Sciton ProFractional laser which has been demonstrating good outcomes with burn scars.  Being that you've had two skin grafts, the areas may not respond as well to traditional pulsed dye lasers. 

Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Scar Removal

Do not worry about the Vitamin E.  Hopefully your parents forgot the Vitamin E as studies show it is not as effective as once thought, and in some cases make things worse.  Find a large burn center and consult with a BCD or BCAPS who specialize in burn therapy and they will have the most to offer you.

Vivek Bansal, MD
Danville Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

How to Remove, or Reduce Scald Burns?

In addition to the good advice already given  by Dr. Kaplan, sometimes old, split thickness skin grafts can be excised to normal skin leaving a thinner scar. if the skin is tight sometimes placing a tissue expander will create the new skin necessary for removal of the scars. I can't really tell from your photo but a visit to your plastic surgeon will help you choose the right option. good luck

Rafael C. Cabrera, MD
Boca Raton Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Fractional lasers for burn scars

There has been tremendous advancement in this field of treating burn scars.  For instance, the American Department of Defense has actually given grants to study and treat burn scars now with fractionated lasers.  I have personally treated a patient with a burn scar from a hot pot of coffee with incredible results in addition to some other burn scars.  There are two types of lasers that could be of help, nonablative or ablative fractionated lasers.  

The success of these lasers have even been featured on the Today Show here in the US.  I would recommend talking to a physician who regularly uses these lasers.

I would warn that it does not turn the scar to normal skin, but can make the scar more comfortable and blend the texture and borders.  Furthermore, like with any resurfacing laser, there are risks, but these lasers in the proper hands have proven to be quite safe.

Good luck.

Daniel I. Wasserman, MD
Naples Dermatologic Surgeon
4.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.