Your body image says a lot about you. Having a healthy body image doesn’t mean you wear a size two or post 20 selfies a day. It means how you feel about your body when you look in the mirror. Feeling comfortable in your own skin is a sign of healthy self-esteem, and it can be robbed from you in an instant if you are the victim of a burn injury.
According to one study conducted by the Model Systems Knowledge Translation Center, approximately one-third of burn survivors are distressed about the way their body looks, feels, and functions after a burn injury. Most burn victims will adjust to these changes over time, and you can, too.
4 Ways to Improve Your Body Image
If you’re worried that your burn scars are unsightly or that others will reject you because of them, there are steps you can take to improve your body image that will help.
Give Yourself Time to Recover
Your burns will take time to recover. During this period of healing, you will need to keep the burned areas clean and follow your doctor’s care instructions to the letter. Your physician may recommend reconstructive burn surgery to improve the look and functionality of the burned area. You’ll also want to be careful to stay out of the sun, or your scarring could worsen.
It’s normal for your burns to be a different color than the rest of your skin. Light-skinned individuals may have darker burned, while dark-skinned individuals may have lighter burns. In today’s society, differences may be celebrated, and keep in mind there have been models with burn scars. Don’t assume that because you look different from others that they are perceiving you in a negative light.
Take Steps to Become More Comfortable
As your burn begins healing, you will develop scarring that may interfere with your ability to move because it doesn’t stretch. The scar may start becoming dark, stiff, and hard. Your physician may give you medications to help fade your scars and make them more flexible. You may also use other treatments like laser treatments to improve the appearance and flexibility of your burns.
Embrace Your Social Side
After a burn, improving your body’s image is possible with time, patience, and dedication. This will allow you to regain your confidence, especially during social interaction. You may realize that your self-esteem and confidence during social events are improving once you begin enjoying the company of friends and family.
Taking care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and even spiritually are all vital components of recovering your body image after a burn injury. You may not ever look or feel like your “old self” again, but you can get to a point where you can embrace yourself as you are now and feel joy in your life.
A major part of your recovery is going to revolve around treatments, and these treatments are going to be costly. Burn injuries lead to massive medical bills and lost wages. Let’s take a look at some of the expenses burn victims face:
- A moderate burn will cost an average of $206,853.
- Psychological treatment after a burn may cost as much as $75,000 to treat.
- A severe burn without complications can cost $1,617,345.
- A severe burn with complications can cost more than $10 million.
Any treatments you get to improve your scarring beyond the standard treatment will also be expensive. It can be as much as $3,400 for a single laser treatment for burn scarring. So where is the money going to come from?
If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit to recoup your losses from the at-fault party. They will be held accountable for their actions by being forced to cover the costs of your treatments. It is the least they can do after their mistake changed your life so drastically, and it can go a long way toward making you feel whole again.