Scars are initially sensitive to touch. The secondary gain of wearing a garment is that it protects the graft site from trauma. People cannot return to contact sports for a minimum of three years after graft surgery. Silicone or foam is used around areas that can develop web scarring (between digits) or areas that were deep and may have healed after a long time. Hypertrophic scarring may need some special attention to mold it and prevent collagen abnormalities from forming during healing. Scar tissue is also frequently itchy. The more upset or overheated one gets, the itchier they become. At this stage meds used to treat neuropathic pain may be introduced.
Scars remain hot and raised for 2-3 years following a burn. The person must keep up with exercise and scar management guidelines during this time. People can lose parts of or entire digits or limbs if they have complications from the burn.
Information courtesy of Ann Burkhardt, OTR/L,
a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association