While first-degree burns typically don't leave scars, a severe burn can leave a lasting mark on your skin. Coping with a burn injury is difficult, especially when the burn is on a highly visible part of the body. Burns cause stress, pain, discomfort and self-consciousness. Scars add to this burden. However, methods are available to help reduce the appearance of burn scars. Scars can never be completely removed, but it is possible to fade scars with proper treatment, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Undergo a collagen injection treatment at your doctor's office. Collagen helps plump up skin for a firmer, healthier look. Collagen injections can temporarily hide recessed burn scars. Initially, you'll need to get a new injection every three to 12 months. Over time, the injections will jump-start increased levels of natural collagen production at the scar site, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Get a chemical peel. This procedure uses chemicals to destroy the topmost layer of scarred skin, allowing new, healthier skin to grow in its place. Light chemical peels have little or no recovery time, and work best for fading shallow scars. Deeper peels are also possible, but they are more painful. Deep chemical peels require at least two weeks of healing, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
Undergo dermabrasion. Dermabrasion removes thin layers of burned skin, much like chemical peel treatments. Depending on the size and severity of the scar, multiple dermabrasion treatments may be required, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Recovery time is short, lasting only about one week.
Visit your doctor to have surgical scar revision performed. This option is best suited for severe burn scarring. Surgical scar revision does not actually fade a scar; it completely removes most or all of the scarred skin, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. After the scarred skin is removed, nearby skin is connected. Rejoining the surrounding skin does leave a small surgical scar, but this is less noticeable than a large burn scar.
Go for laser resurfacing. This procedure smooths scarred skin, fading the rough and elevated appearance of some burn scars, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Apply cosmetics to mask burn scars, as recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology. You can fade dark scars using over-the-counter makeups, but you should always discuss makeup with your doctor if you've just undergone scar reduction treatments. Deep chemical peels, dermabrasion and surgical scar revision can leave the skin highly susceptible to pain and irritation if makeup is applied during the healing process.
Richard Kalinowski began writing professionally in 2006. He also works as a website programmer and graphic designer for several clients. Kalinowski holds a Master of Fine Arts from Goddard College and a Bachelor of Science in education from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.