MODERN methods of treating severe burns have greatly reduced the incidence of serious scar deformities. With the advent of the antibiotics in the control of infection and the development of techniques for early and successful skin grafting, residual impairment should be less than in former years. Unfortunately, the early treatment is not always effective. Moreover, it is obvious that in deep burns which destroy anatomical structures, some degree of scar deformity is inevitable.
The degree of the cicatricial deformity is relative to the severity and location of the burn. By definition, first-degree burns involve only the epidermis and should heal without scarring. In second-degree burns, where there is partial destruction of the dermis, there is a variable amount of disfigurement due to superficial scar. This will depend upon the thickness of the skin and the area affected, as well as upon complications such as bacterial infection. Third-degree burns, in which