Burns, partial or deep, modifies our skin.
For example, a small burn, caused by a small drop of oil, spilling from a hot pan, can modify our skin color to a degree.
Naturally, deeper burns substantially damage all the skin layers (epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue), depending on the degree of damage.
So, how to restore skin color after burn? Is it possible without expensive medical treatment? In the following article, I will explore the topic a bit in detail.
The Skin Morphology
Before diving into healing alternatives, you should know how your skin works, or at least, how it’s structured.
The human skin is actually composed of different layers; each one possesses different types of cells to do a specific task.
The outermost region is called the epidermis, composed of five different stratum: stratum basale, spinosum, granulosum, corneum.
In these five layers, there are four different types of cells:
- Keratinocytes: Dead cells containing keratin, impervious to fluids.
- Merker’s cells: A type of cell receptor in charge of detecting light touch and sending the electric stimuli back to the medulla.
- Langerhans cells: A part of the immune system and the first barrier pathogens will face.
- Melanocytes: Responsible for providing pigmentation to our skin.
But let’s focus on these last ones, shall we?
What Happens To The Skin After a Burn?
Melanogenesis is the process in which melanin, our skin’s main pigment, is synthesized and provides color to our body.
Pigmentation disorders occur after burn injuries, such as scald, flame, thermal, or friction burns.
In Partial Skin Injuries
The melanoblasts (cells that transform into melanocytes) from uninjured sites of the epidermis, migrate to the wound site.
The post-burn inflammation triggers a series of biochemical and cellular reactions, stimulating cell activity and proliferation, which means the cells are producing more melanin, resulting in a hyperpigmented area.
In Deeper Skin Burn Injuries
The loss of melanocytes means that, once the fibrous tissue is being deposited to form scars, no melanin will be produced in the area.
Other changes may occur as well, such as scar formation, tightening of the skin and muscles, itching, etcetera.
How To Restore Skin Color After Burn?
It’s common for people to experience social anxiety when dealing with their burnt injuries, as some may be temporal, while other changes are permanent.
Below, I’ve provided some actionable skin burn relief tips.
Avoid UV Light
During the first days following a burnt injury, the innermost layers of your skin are exposed.
Disinfecting the region and covering it with a nonstick bandage, held in place with gauze.
But it’s important to avoid exposing the injured skin to the UV light of the sun. (You might also apply a UV light skin protector, here is my recommended one).
UV light is harmful to the skin, multiple studies have demonstrated that UV light induces the formation of free radicals, which are damaging to the cells’ membranes, and irreparable damages to the cell’s DNA, increasing skin cancers and discoloration.
Thus, during these important days and weeks, and if you wish to restore skin color after burn, it’s good to cover your injuries with comfortable and loose clothes, as well as to use sunscreen.
Apply Aloe Vera
The medical use of aloe vera has been recognized by multiple cultures throughout human history.
Yet, most of these supposed effects are word-of-mouth and there still isn’t sufficient evidence for official medical organizations to condone its use in intrahospitalary care.
However, certain studies in vitro have demonstrated that the application of aloe vera inhibits the action of the cyclooxygenases, enzymes responsible for the local inflammatory responses after any type of injury (burns or not).
Diminishing the inflammatory response could prevent discoloration.
To use aloe vera:
- You need to remove the outer layer of the aloe vera leaf.
- Take out the sticky gel from the inside of the leaf.
- Use the gel and massage your skin with it.
- Let it rest for 20-40 minutes.
- Wash off with warm water.
You can also accompany the use of aloe vera with coconut oil, whose ingredients may have a beneficial effect on restoring skin color after a burn.