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Burn Scars

Discussion in 'Research' started by TheCrystallineEntity, Jun 19, 2017.

  1. The main character in my latest book was horribly burned on over half of their face and body as a child [they accidentally set their house on fire with elemental powers], and refused to heal them with magic. I am wondering [in general, mind] how the scars could be described.


    [I don't want any pictures posted of actual scars, please.]
     
  2. Tort76

    Tort76 Acolyte

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    Are they discolored or wrinkled, drawn and taught?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  3. fiera43

    fiera43 Scribe

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    Burn scars differ from regular scars only by being a little fuzzier because of the sizzling and popping hope that helps.
     
  4. ^Oh, really? Wow, I never knew that. Thanks.

    ^^It's sort of both white with scar tissue and dark with discolouring, depending on where you are looking. .
     
  5. fiera43

    fiera43 Scribe

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    My idiot boyfriend has a brand so when I saw your post about burn scars I looked at that and asked him since his dad was a fire investigator.
     
  6. Noxius

    Noxius Dreamer

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    Burn scars over such a big place will look really horrible. Burnt tissue has quite a bit of a problem healing back togehter, and the scar tissue is thick and very immobile - your protagonist won't have much facial expressions on the burnt side of the face.

    Also, the scarred skin will look wrinkled and old. And with such a big area, it can very well be that the scars around joints and others places where the skin normally moves a lot breaks open from time to time, causing pain and even worse scarring.

    There is a term for that, sadly, it doesn't want to come to my mind. IIRC, there a bunch of people especially in and around india that are heavily scarred and have to deal with those consequences. I'll let you know if I remember it, then you can look up a bit about it yourself :)
     
  7. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

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    The scaring could look fairly minimal if there was the right medical treatment available.
    I know three people that have had very severe burns, from boiling water, hot cooking oil and hot bath. All were lucky enough to not have tissue destroyed by fire so after a little while they were put in to things like compression bandages. These minimised the swellings and all but got rid of the redness. They had to wear them for months, maybe years. You can still see that there is something there, but you don't really know what.
    On one of them [he was about 10 when it happened about 10 years ago] it sort of looks like a huge Harry Potter scar around one ear. That is a fairly thin ragged red line of a scar. The rest of the skin [that I've seen] just looks sort of waxy and shiny but otherwise pretty normal. He also has a cauliflower ear - but I don't know if that was because of the burn and as he is larger than me I don't feel like asking.
    On another person, she has a large patch of skin over her hips and stomach and down most of her legs, that doesn't really tan and isn't as smooth as perhaps the rest of her skin, but otherwise look okay. She was burnt by hot cooking oil when she was fifteen and spent a year in and out of hospital.
    [The third person I know [but only second hand], when he was about 2 was dropped in to a scalding hot bath by a parent [who is in prison because of this]. He is 5 or 6 now and has spent the time since in an all over pressure bandage. The one he wears now does look like a burkini or a wet suit but someone had modified it to look like Spiderman's costume! [I'd have gone for Batman... but that is just me].]
    So if it was just heat that burned them and not the fire itself [no charring or cooking of flesh], and with the right medical help, after a while the burns might look roughly okay [admittedly for a wide value of okay].
     
  8. With the bare minimum of medical [in this case, magical healing] help, would the scars look more severe? The character in question barely healed himself at all after fleeing the place where the accident occurred.
     
  9. Noxius

    Noxius Dreamer

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    A lot more severe. Of course modern day medicine can do a lot, but only if applied immediatley afterwards. And as said, in countries where most of the population can't afford or have accsess to the best medical care humanity can offer, burn scars are still not only disfiguring, but can also lead to restrictions, as said before.
    So as long as your story isn't set in 21st century and he got to the hospital directly after the incident, his scars will look horrible.

    But you would need to find an explanation to how your protagonist survided the burns. I forgot to mention this earlier, but burning 50% of your skin normaly means death, if not treated immediatley by professionals. 2nd and 3rd degree burns can cause a shock, followed by death. This can accur if "only" 10% of the skin of an adult or 5% of a child's is burnt (of course, the bigger the burnt area, the bigger the chance of said shock), so if he really burnt half of his body, I think you need some kind of explanation how he survived, let alone fled. If you want you can make your healing magic strong enough for that, but I would consider healing him before fleeing, not afterwards.
     
  10. ^Ha ha! You've inadvertently stumbled on one of the main plot twists! That is, how the character could have survived. He has elemental powers of fire [leading to the burns when he accidentally set the house on fire in a fit of rage], earth, air, light, and water. Despite the help of turning to water, that character really did die that day...:D
     
  11. Noxius

    Noxius Dreamer

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    :D Well, the perks of being a nurse :D
    Still, I think you should give him some kind of explanation to why he could have survived this, since I don't think you want people to know right frrom the start that he died. :)
     
  12. ^I'll say that he was pulled from the fire and healed by his twin, which is what happened, but he neglects to mention that in prioritizing the healing, his twin died from her own injuries. All of this comes to light once he visits his mothers, who live nearby in the same village.
     
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