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Massage and moisturiser

Healed wounds

Now that your wounds have healed it is very important that you start looking after your new skin.

Proper after care of your skin is very important to restore your skins function, reduce pain and swelling as well as minimise any scarring that may form.

It is important that you keep your new skin clean and hydrated. When you are no longer in dressings you can begin to bath again initially with a mild baby soap.

Moisturisers can be used to soften the skin, prevent dryness and reduce feelings of tightness.

Sun protection

Be careful in the sun for at least a year post burn. Your scar tissue does not have the same protection against the sun as it did previously, and is at high risk of blistering or burning in the sun. It is important that you apply factor 50 sun cream every time you go outside, even in the winter, and that a hat is used to protect our face and neck.

How to massage your healed skin

Massage the affected area with moisturiser 3-4 times daily for several minutes over each area. If you have dry skin then this can be increased.

Massage initially with moderate pressure and move the skin in all different directions. As your skin heals you can increase the pressure you use to massage.

Use a simple unperfumed moisturiser e.g. E45, Diprobase, Nivea, Cocoa Butter, Epiderm or Aveeno. Everybody’s skin is different; you may find that you need to trial a number of different moisturisers to find the right one for you.

Do’s and Don’ts

Avoid creams that are aqueous based for massage as these are designed for bathing.

It is important to moisturise shortly after contact with water as this can have a drying effect e.g. bathing or swimming.

There are many different products on the market that advertise they treat “scarring”. Whist everybody’s skin is different there is no evidence that any of these products are any more beneficial than simple moisturiser for hydration and massage.

It is important to wash your skin daily to avoid an accumulation of cream.

Itching

Itching is a very common side effect of newly healed skin. It is important to try and remember not to scratch your skin as this may cause damage or breakdown of the skin.

Massage regularly with moisturiser often helps the itch sensation. It may also help to keep your moisturiser in the fridge to provide extra relief.

If itching is an ongoing problem you can discuss medication options with your GP or Burns doctor.

Some people occasionally react to certain moisturisers and develop an irritable red rash. If this happens wash off the moisturiser and do not reapply. We would recommend that you try an alternative moisturiser or contact the burns therapy team.

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