How to Remove an Old Burn Scar?

Q: I have a burn scar on my body that is 18 years old. It is very thick and hard. Is it possible to remove it by any medicine or cream?
-By  Sadika Afrose

Reply:

Surgical removal of the scar would be the only option. Though there are many creams available in the market which claim to remove scars, I would not suggest them. This is so because of the following reasons:

  • Your scar is quite old. Cream/gels would not work on it.
  • Creams can only lighten the scar, not remove it completely.

I would suggest you to go for surgery. Go to a cosmetic surgeon and discuss your case with him. Normally, laser removal of scars are possible.

If the scar is not very deep, we remove it by laser beams. Fresh skin then slowly grows over the portion. However, if the scar is deep, it is first softened, then removed.

Removal by surgery can be a bit expensive, but is usually complete.

Take Care,

Buddy M.D.

Medical Advice (Q&As) on “How to Remove an Old Burn Scar?

  1. Yapi Opi

    I have a scar on my both hands, starting from the elbow to the wrist. This scar was caused by burn and is 15 years now. It is a bit thick and rough.

    Can it be OK for me to use scar serum to remove this type of scar?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Scar serums work well on acne scars or stretch marks. Your burn scars are old and deep. They must be hypertrophied and well collagenized by this time. So it cannot be said whether it will work on your scar or not. Anyway, you can surely give it a try.

      Scar serums have proteolytic enzymes in them and they might work on your scar. However, I would suggest you try it on a portion of your scar first (part testing) before applying it over the whole arm. This is because some people are allergic to such products.

      Reply
    2. rajesh

      hey i got a burn on my hand from like 17 years ago and it dislocates some of my bones and tendons. It was burnt so badly that they have to perform a skin graft but now the skin graft has left a wide and a huge mark and the scar on my hands become hard and uglier it also affect my joint around the wrist…..is there any way to make the scars disappear and restore my bones?

      Reply
    3. Mily

      I have a scars on my shoulder maybe 20 years old scars .how to recover and how I remove my cars and what is the cost of plastic surgery to remove my scars please mention the cost of plastic surgery

      Reply
      1. Buddy M.D. Post author

        Treatment would depend upon how deep and big they are. For small and superficial scars, try silicone gel products.

        For deeper ones, you’ll need plastic surgery. Cost would depend upon the size of area to be covered and its depth, whether it was a first degree burn, second or third. It may be anywhere between $200 to $1000.

        Reply
  2. Samina

    I have a burnt scar on my chin. It is hard as compared to rest of the skin but hair grows. It is 15 years old, brownish black in appearance.

    I want to remove it. What are the possibilities to remove it? And how about the procedure and cost?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Such scars are removed surgically. There are various procedures available for this. You need to go to some cosmetologist or any surgeon who specializes in the field of cosmetic surgery.

      Some of the procedures are as follows:
      Laser surgery, where laser beams are used to smoothen or flatten the abnormally discolored area of the scar.
      Z – Plasty – Here a Z-shaped incision is given in the affected area. The skin is then pulled to blend the scar in natural creases.
      Dermabrasion – Here the scar tissue is shaved or scraped off.

      Only after examining your scar, doctor would be able to suggest the best procedure in your case.
      The cost would range somewhere between $2000 to $4000, depending upon the procedure.

      Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Old scars are usually tackled by surgical procedures. A cosmetic surgeon can attempt Z-plasty or dermabrasion over it.

      In Z-plasty, a Z-shaped incision is made. The skin is then pulled in such a way that the scar blends into natural creases.

      Dermabrasion is a procedure done on hardened scar tissues. The scar tissue is scraped off slowly to give a cleaner look.

      Reply
  3. Riya arora

    My face was burn from right side. When I was 1yr old by hot water. Now I’m 20, so please suggest? How it will be remove?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Cosmetic surgery is the only way in most of such cases. You may visit a surgeon for this.

      Though creams are available, none of them is able to deal with deep burns.

      Reply
  4. lillian

    Hello! My daughter got scalded unfortunately when she was 1 year old and it left a scar on her arm. Now she is 10 years old, the scar on the arm is 5cm in width and 17cm in length. We want to remove the scar. I’ve heard that there are two ways of plastic surgery can help. One is skin graft, the other is using tissue expander. About skin graft, will the donation area appear a new scar? About using tissue expander, is it safe? Because it takes 3~4 months in total. And do we need to stay in hospital in all these 3~4 months? Is it suitable for her to do this surgery in the age of 10? Which way will get better appearance after surgery? I also heard about one way called Cell Cultured Skin Autograft. The cell is taken out in the healthy area of the patient and cultured in the laboratory. It will be cultured to a sheet skin in several months. And then the cultured skin will be grafted on the patient. Is this technology mature and used widely in scar remover surgery? Which way is the best way to remove the scar? Is it possible to make the scar area return to healthy skin? Sorry for so many questions and thank you very much for your reply!

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Yes, in skin grafting, a new scar appears on the area from where the graft has been taken. The place selected to take a graft is usually inner thigh.

      The graft is then put over the scarred area. There are equal chances that the scar gets rejected or accepted. So, this is not a guaranteed procedure. However, this remains to be the commonest procedure.

      Her age is alright to go for the procedure. Though the overall health status needs to be assessed. She needs to be healthy enough to handle the procedure. Many medicines would be given to her, like immunosuppressants, antibiotics, that would help her in accepting the graft. She needs to be fits enough to take those pills.

      The better age for the procedure would be teenage, when the body is in a rapid phase of growth and is strong enough to handle infections and other complications.

      You may go for tissue expansion. This procedure has better results and chances of rejection are minimal.

      Cell cultured skin autograft is not available everywhere. The technology is yet not standardized. You may have to assess your hospital before you opt for it.

      Reply
  5. muskaan

    I have got burn mark on both of my hands. It was burnt by iron and now what can I do to remove it, it is 15 year old mark.

    Reply
  6. Sunny

    I got a scar 2 years back on my hands on the biceps. Please suggest me a cream to remove it or at least lighten it as it is only 2 years old I guess I can lighten it by a cream. So please suggest me a cream. Thank you.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      The scar would lighten up by itself with time. As the surface skin cells shed off and newer cells replace them in due course of time, the scar would lighten.

      Creams work well for removing acne scars. They won’t be effective for burn scars.

      Reply
  7. Fekadeselassie

    Dear Doc.
    I do have deep big scars on my left hand more than 40 years old. The scar is the result of burn. I am 52 years old. Is there a possibility of removing these scars? Thank you,
    kind regards.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      The only effective method to remove such scars is cosmetic surgery.

      You may talk to a cosmetic surgeon regarding it. Many techniques are available on date to tackle such scars.

      Reply
  8. Marta

    Hello ,
    I have a burn scar which is 31 years old. The scar is on my left arm, just before the elbow. I really suffer with it as during summer time I’m not brave enough to wear a short sleeve. The scar is about 6cm long and 4-5 cm width.
    Is there any chance to remove the scar?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      The scar may be removed by cosmetic surgery. These procedures have evolved a long way now and treatments are available for most of the situations.

      You need to talk to a cosmetic surgeon regarding it.

      Reply
  9. Penelope

    I had burn my hand 2 years ago and the mark is still in my hand. How to make it go away, is there a way. Please tell me.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Old scars like this need surgical intervention. You may see a cosmetic surgeon regarding this.

      Reply
  10. Ayanda

    Hi! I have 23 year old scar on my face, my ear got burnt, the head and arm since I was 3 months old and it look so bad because I have would that develop every summer time. I use to wear beam always, can I get any help by the dermatologist? I didn’t like see myself like this. I use to hide myself indoor.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Old scars like this can be removed only by surgical procedures. You need to see a plastic surgeon (cosmetologist). There is definitely a way to improve it.

      Reply
  11. Vandana wadhwani

    I have 15yrs old burn scar on my face. Last year, I had undergone with two sessions of dermatology and three sessions of laser treatment. But I had seen no change. Should I go for further treatment or to try something else.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      See, creams and lotions do not work on old scars. They can be removed only by surgical procedures. It’s futile trying anything else.

      Reply
  12. Ali

    Doctor, I had a bike accident 4 month ago due to which my arm and left hand burned with bike silencer. Outer wounds are of brown color and inner part is pink. I want to get rid of these marks. Please suggest me useful treatment for this. Most importantly next month I am going to marry.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Your wounds are in the process to getting healed. You need to give it time. They will slowly proceed with scarring and a scab (brown covering) would cover it completely.

      Beneath this brown cover, healing continues safely. Do not remove this brown colored scab. When healing is complete, the brown scab would shed off on its own.

      Reply
  13. Julieth M.Kempanju

    I am 42 years, I got badly burn with hot water on my two arms when I was one year old. As the years goes the scars are on my hands and little on my lower arms. Can those old scars be removed? My nails are not affected, there very beautiful just the skin. The scars are dark, the skin on my hands look like of the very old woman with so many wrinkles. The scars are very noticeable. Can Bio oil help?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      You may try using bio oil, there is no harm.

      Old scars get lighter day by day, but do not fade away completely. Complete removal is possible only by cosmetic surgery.

      Reply
  14. marjorie geron

    Doc,
    I have a big scars on my legs that were caused of fire! It is already 20 years old! Is there some medicine for this. I really need to remove this! What is the good procedure to heal this.

    Thanks a lot!

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      There is no medicine available to remove such old scars. However, these scars do lighten up to some extent with time.

      Scar removal is possible only by cosmetic surgery. For this, you need to visit a cosmetic surgeon, who will assess the depth of scar and guide you.

      Reply
  15. Shirley

    I have an old burn scar on my face about 40 years old. From a piece of plastic it’s a flat scar light in color. What can be done for it to not be so noticeable.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      The only way is to go for a cosmetic surgery.

      Most of the creams available in the market are for bleaching or ex foliation (peeling) of the skin. None of it would work adequately in your case.

      Reply
  16. destiny saunders

    I am now 15 yrs old. I got horrible 3rd degree burn scars when I was about 5 yrs old. The scars are on my legs, belly and right arm. I fell in a tub of boiling hot water. The scars feel just like the rest of my skin. Is there any cream I can rub on them to reduce their appearance? Please, I need advice right away. I am self conscious about them. Thanks much.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      There no creams to remove old scars. All creams which claim to remove them are ineffective.

      You may go to a cosmetologist for surgery. That is the only way.

      Reply
  17. Lexzey clark

    My boyfriend was severely burned from boiling water from his birth mother when he was only a couple months old. Hes 20 years old now. The burn scars are all over his stomach area. And the doctor’s told him he has very few to almost no layers of skin left in those spots. It is summertime now and I hate seeing him not being able to enjoy the sun like the rest of the guys because of his burns. He loves to swim and it pains me having to see him have to wear a shirt all summer (even when he swims ) because of something so sad. I was just wondering if there might be anything that can help him regain the layers of skin? Or even if there is some sort of medicated cream to help when he is out in the sun? I want to see him enjoy his summers but so far he has not been able to because of the fact he is worried of making it worse…. is there anything that can help?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      It needs an actual physical exam to assess his case. Normally, sun screen with spf no. 100 or above are able to shield well.

      Unfortunately, there’s no way be build up skin layers by medicines. Surgical grafting may definitely be done. For that, you need to see a surgeon for expert opinion.

      Reply
  18. Anonymous

    I removed my mole by using some chemical paste 1year back which left red colour scar on my face..it looks like my skin is burnt..what should I do??

    Reply
      1. Anonymous

        It is located on my left cheek ..early it was dark in colour ..now it gives of pink colour…what cream should I use to remove the scar?

        Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Keep the skin well moisturized. The scar is likely to lighten by itself with time.

          If it doesn’t, you need to see a cosmetic surgeon for expert opinion. He will assess the scar, as to how many layers of the skin is it affecting. Accordingly, treatment may be planned.

          Reply
  19. Anonymous

    My face got burnt due to dettol 2 weeks back. it peeled off but the new skin was also in dark brown colour. It has a dark brown scar. Please suggest a solution. Would any home remedy work?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      This dark skin would also peel off by itself in the next few cycles, and your original color of skin would come.

      Just wait patiently for some time. Meanwhile, keep your skin well moisturized.

      Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          15 to 20 days, it would lighten quite a bit. It may take 2 to 3 months to for it to regain its natural color. This means, repeated cycles of skin shedding off and growing again are required.

          To know the exact time required you need to go for a physical exam. Doctors need to assess the depth and size of the burnt area.

          Reply
          1. Anonymous

            My doctor told me that the burn from dettol had caused post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.she recommended me cutilite cream(hydroquinone 2%) along with elovera cream. how much time will it take to go back to its normal colour? Is it permanent ?

  20. Xin Lu

    Hello,
    I burnt myself with my Hair curler iron on my belly, where my belly button is. I didn’t use cold water to cool off my 3 inch small burnt scar. After few hours, there was some yellowish/white liquid in my scar/under my first layer of skin. I pop it and the liquid came out. Later, I peeled off my skin after i pop it. It happened like.. 1 or 1 1/2 weeks ago.
    Right now, the scar looks like.. pink mark inside and it is surrounded by brown mark. The product i am currently using right now is… ScarAway (The Solution fr Scars) Silicone Scar Sheets. Technology Used by Burn Centers, Plastic Surgeons and Hospitals.
    I don’t really know if this product would help me getting rid of the scar.
    I am afraid that the scar won’t fade away. Is there any product I can use? How many more days until my scar goes away?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Since it’s pink, this indicates that the skin is raw. You may wait for the new skin to come there. It’s too early to use ScarAway.

      Let the new skin come in 3 to 5 days. Most likely, the new skin would be of same color as your skin. The margins of the wound would also blend in gradually. After 2 to 3 weeks, you may use this product, only if required.

      Reply
  21. Anonymous

    My doctor told me that the burn from dettol had caused post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.she recommended me cutilite cream(hydroquinone 2%) along with elovera cream. how much time will it take to go back to its normal colour? Is it permanent ?

    Reply
  22. Megan Nguyen

    Hello,
    I’d have a burn scar on my leg 30 years ago when I were a little girl. The burn scar is flat , a little bit white and 10x 10 larg in front of my lower leg and the skin there always peel off. I cannot wear short or skirt I like. Are there anyways that I can delete it. Please help me!

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      Old scars are difficult to go. You may try ScarAway silicone gel sheets over it.

      Reply
  23. mhadz

    hello doc. i have old burn scar on my left leg sincei was 11 year old and IM 24 years old now and IM not comportable with it i can’t wear short when i go out,what can i use to lighen my old burn scar or how to remove it its 1 inch size?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      This one is a very old scar.

      If it’s raised above the skin level, you may try lighting it by silicone sheets. These are available in many brands, like ScarAway.

      However, if the scar is not raised, the only way is removing it surgically.

      Reply
  24. raghav

    Hello.
    I have old burn scar on my left side of cheek. It can be remove, and this burn is when I was 1 year old and now I’m 27 years old. Is it possible to remove and how much the cost for treatment process?

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      for a scar that is raised above the surface, silicone sheets may be used. You may buy them from any pharmacy and try.

      If it doesn’t work, the only way is cosmetic surgery.

      Reply
  25. Sunil

    Second degree burn with electric shock at my hand from knee to wrist in left hand. What should be done so that their will be no spots of burning?

    Reply
  26. kaya

    hey doc i have a big scar all over my left hand and it also dislocates some lf my bones i have made a surgery from like 15 years ago and they perform skin graft because it was hurt badly but now it the scar becomes black and uglier….is there any way to make it look better?? by the
    way i live in ethiopia

    Reply
  27. Eric

    I have some burn scar spots in my hands. Most cosmetic surgeons are specialized for women related surgeries and not for burn scars. Which cosmetic surgeons would you recommend? how do i search them? do you have any links that you could share? And what is the approximate cost related to such treatment?

    Reply
  28. Precious

    5 years back i got burnt by water in my ass .back then it was pink and when the years go on it become dark i never use any lotion or cream cause i was afraid it could damage my skin now people laughs at me coz my foot are also burnt so i was wondering that u could tell what to use to remove this scar?

    Reply
  29. Anonymous

    Hi doctor, my 3 years daughter got burnt by the bike silencer which is about 0.5 cm behind her leg. Its about 1 week back, now its about to cure, but left with scars. How to get rid of the scar.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      You may wait for it to heal completely in a natural way. What medicines are you using over it?

      Reply
        1. Buddy M.D. Post author

          Let the new skin come over by itself. Just keep the area clean. Protect it from sun and dust. You need to keep applying the silver nitrate cram till prescribed.

          Let the fresh skin come. It’s likely to be wrinkle free.

          Reply
  30. victory

    please help me doctor, I have fire burn scar since 4 years now and it has not dark but is heal already and I want it to get dark.

    Reply
    1. victory

      yes.. and I am a dark person but the scar color is not dark, is just like that of a fair person skin and I need it to get dark, pleas what should I do.

      Reply
      1. Buddy M.D. Post author

        So, this appears to be a hypopigmented patch. Healing may sometimes lead to fibrosis, which may cause damage to melanocytes, cells producing pigments in the area.

        Now, this particular patch has healed well. You just need pigmentation over it. For that, laser therapy or phototherapy may be tried. You need to visit a dermatologist for this. Such therapies may stimulate the remaining melanocytes there and produce pigmentation.

        There’s also a medication, Methoxsalen 1%, which may be used over the scar with great caution. Only a trained doctor may attempt stimulating melanocytes by its application. Strict precautions need to be taken while using it.

        Reply
  31. Gyan Prakash

    I have an old oil burn scar on my face. I want permanent solution for it without any side effect.it is more than 20 years old.it is exactly located at right side of chin.

    Reply
  32. Amit

    Hi
    My hand got burnt 10 years ago through bike silencer, please see burn mark in this pic from this url https://ibb.co/cM0zo9
    Please suggest me some cream or anything through that I can make it like a normal skin also hair should come in that burnt place.

    Reply
    1. Buddy M.D. Post author

      This appears to be quite a deep one, involving deeper layers of the skin as well. The only possible way appear to be cosmetic surgery.

      Reply

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