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Facial Disorders

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Proper Manners Concerning People with Facial Disorders

At home

The family members of people with facial disorders should be ready to accept and support the countless struggles and hardships (including maladaptation and depression) that their loved ones will face after leaving the hospital. In many patients, sudden changes in appearance can cause serious psychological complications, such as depression. Family members should be prepared for this change and divide their roles and responsibilities in order to help their loved ones adapt to life post-hospitalization.

Young burn victims are particularly vulnerable, as they may fall victim to ridicule and bullying by their peers at school. Therefore,parents should inform their children of the possible hardships they may experience. If necessary, parents may need to visit their children at school or kindergarten, explain the situation to their classmates and teachers, and ask for their understanding.

On public transportation

In public transportation settings, burn victims and other people with noticeable facial disorders are at risk of being offended in various ways, such as by being refused entry to a bus or taxi,when people move away from them after they get on a bus or taxi, or even by verbal insults from other passengers.

In public baths

Staring at anyone, whether disabled or not, for long stretches of time is very rude and improper behavior in and of itself. Burn victims and people with facial disorders, however, are prone to even greater distress at public baths as they must enter these places naked. Avoid staring at these people. Also, bathhouse owners should not refuse to accept these guests for reasons of outward appearance alone. Such a refusal can be quite insulting. The scars and damage on these people’s skin pose no risk to others.

At a restaurant

Burn victims may still harbor some fear of hot objectsor food. If you are at a restaurant where meat or seafood is being grilled on a tabletop range, make sure these people are seated as far away from the heat source as possible. Do not let them handle anything hot by themselves.

Other customers at the restaurant may stare at people with burns or other facial disorders. Refrain from responding to such behavior; rather, keep going about your business as usual. Restaurant managers and employees may be proactive and assign these customers to tables that are not in plain sight.

Other matters of concern

Burn victims may have qualms about revealing their scars for others to see, and may insist on wearing long sleeves, long pants, hats, gloves or other such garments, even in the middle of summer. Do not force them to wear shorter clothes or try to encourage them to be “cool” about their scars.

Pointing at, clicking one’s tongue at, staring at, or picking the scars of burn victims and people with facial disorders in public not only are extremely rude actions, but could cause lasting psychological damage. Burn victims may also actively avoid any situations that might cause them to recall their accidents. Avoid asking them questions or making remarks that may cause them to relive traumatic memories.

Alcohol expands capillaries, causing the skin to turn even redder and exaggerating the visibility of darkened scars. Therefore, avoid recommending alcoholic beverages to people with burns or facial disorders.

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