Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Burns -- therapy; Facial Injuries -- therapy; Wound Healing


More severely burned patients are surviving thermal burn injuries due to advances in medicine. A burn on any area of the body requires appropriate wound management. However, facial burns present with unique problems as the face is constantly exposed to society and the environment.

The purpose of this paper is to provide physical therapists with facial burn wound care and rehabilitation. Knowledgeable physical therapists are needed as members of rehabilitation teams to return facially burned patients to optimal functional and cosmetic levels.

Burn wounds are closely monitored, cleaned, and debrided to minimize infection. Skin care and patient education begins once the wound is closed and continues for the remainder of the patient's life. Burn scars are treated with pressure, splinting, exercise, and positioning to prevent deformity. Pain must be managed, and pain reduction alternatives are explored. Rehabilitation professionals must work together to provide adequate and timely psychological intervention to ensure the patient a smoother reentry into society and the work environment.