Scarring from burn injuries can leave notable facial disfigurement, which leads to physical inability to perform daily tasks as well as psychological pain. By applying constant pressure, scars can be made softer and flatter, as well as less visibly discolored. However, if left untreated, the injured tissue may continue to affect surrounding healthy skin and create larger hypertrophic scars. As such, masks have been developed to help those suffering from burn injuries to recover.
The most widely used masks are flexible fabric masks and semi-rigid transparent facial orthoses (TFO), the latter being generally more effective due to comfort and transparency. TFO are generally vacuum formed over a positive cast of the face, with care being taken to provide relief to more sensitive regions. However, this method often proves inaccurate, as well as being time and cost intensive. In addition, the patient must suffer through multiple facial castings, which can involve being sedated with their jaws wired together. The psychological trauma this causes is detrimental to the victim's rehabilitation process, and this method is further complicated by the need of a trained and skilled technician to produce the labour intensive masks.
The present study aims to describe a novel methodology to produce face masks for burn victims through the use of commercially available 3D scanners and printers.