Second-degree burns on the face are serious. These burns, also called partial thickness burns, damage both the outermost layer of skin (the epidermis) and the deeper layers of skin (the dermis). Second-degree burns usually appear red and painful and often have blisters. If the blisters have ruptured, the skin may look wet and shiny. There can also be discoloration of the uninjured skin around the burned area.
How do second-degree burns on the face happen?
Burns can happen anywhere on the body. However, facial burns are often the result of devastating accidents such as house fires or explosions or the splashing of chemicals (e.g., cleaners). Some other common causes of second-degree burns on the face are:
- Severe sunburn
- Steam and boiling water (burns can occur while cooking, showering, at work, etc.)
- Tanning beds
What effects can second-degree facial burns have?
Second-degree burns can have both physical and psychological effects. This is especially true when the burns are on a person’s face. Our faces are an important part of our identity and self-image. It is easy to hide burns on some other areas of the body, but it is often very difficult to keep others from seeing burn scars on the face.
Possible physical effects of second-degree facial burns include:
- Scar contractures (tightening of the skin)
- Restriction or impairment of movement (from contractures or from damage to nerves, muscles, or other tissue)
While the physical effects of a second-degree facial burn are taxing, the psychological and emotional effects can be even worse. They might include:
- Social anxiety
- Feelings of rejection
- Body image issues
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Can I treat a second-degree facial burn on my own?
No. You should never try to treat any second-degree burn, especially one on the face, at home. These are serious burns that require medical attention.
The only thing you should do to treat your burn is to immediately place your face under cool (not cold) running water for 15-20 minutes. If you cannot place your face under running water, you can place a clean, wet towel over your face. Do not submerge your face in cold water as you could send yourself into shock or develop hypothermia.
After you have received the appropriate medical treatment, follow the instructions of your treatment team. Doing so will minimize the likelihood of infection and maximize your chances for the best possible long-term outcome.
You can also ask your doctor if there are any home remedies s/he recommends to quicken healing time or prevent scarring. We do not recommend trying any home remedies without your doctor’s consent.
Is it possible to remove a second-degree facial burn scar?
While there is nothing that will totally remove a second-degree facial burn scar, there are things you can do to soften the scar or cover it up:
You can use pressure garments to minimize scars from facial burns. These are elastic mask-like items that can help to prevent or minimize the development of hypertrophic (raised and uneven) scar tissue.
Facial pressure garments can be either custom-made or ready to wear. The most important thing is that the facial mask fits properly. If it is too loose, it will not be effective. If it is too tight, it can be painful and can cause more harm. Facial masks come in many configurations so you can use one tailored to the locations of your facial burns.
Plastic surgery is an option to repair significant facial scarring. While it may not be possible to remove all the scars from a second-degree facial burn, plastic surgery can help achieve a better outcome. A surgeon may need to perform the surgery in stages or you may have to undergo multiple, separate surgeries.
In some cases, medical tattooing might be an option. This procedure works to make the scar the same color as the skin around it. You can also apply a scar cream and use makeup to camouflage the scars.
Unfortunately, medical treatment for a second-degree burn, especially one on the face, can be extremely expensive. If you have a second-degree facial burn that resulted from another party’s negligence, you may be able to file a claim for injury compensation. We can help connect you with a lawyer who can assist you. Call us today at 844-549-8774.