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Scarring in Kids

Berkeley Parents Network > Advice > Advice about Health > Scarring in Kids


Questions

How to prevent scars developing on child's face

July 2010

My daughter fell and scraped her nose on some really rough concrete. I am worried about any long term scarring that might occur. The wound has already scabbed over-should one prevent scabbing-and is healing well without pain. I have taken her to a pediatrician at Kaiser who informed me it is superficial and we just have to wait for the healing. I would like to get a specialist even for this minor injury but am not getting any acknowledgment for my concerns from the Kaiser doctor. Can anyone recommend a dermatologist, cosmetic surgeon (over kill?). I just want to do all I can now to prevent any future heartache. Anonymous


My active kids have had all kinds of cuts and scrapes on their faces, some of which looked quite serious at the time and one or two of which maybe even should have had stitches, and have come through all of them without any scars. I appreciate your concern for your daughter, and obviously I haven't seen her scrapes so I'm only guessing, but I'll bet she'll heal up fine without any intervention, especially if that's what the pediatrician is saying. Kids are like starfish. :) Keeping the scrapes clean and maybe applying some Neosporin or other first aid/anti-scar lotion as they heal can help, if you're worried. Mom of Daredevils
Scabs are needed and important--do not disturb. Her face will probably be absolutely fine. However, it takes time to heal and it is best if you let it heal. No cosmetic surgeon is going to do anything until there has been a long healing period to see what nature can do on its own. If there really is a problem, later on Kaiser should provide cosmetic surgery.

My young daughter seriously injured her face when she was a toddler. It was no ''scrape''. Kaiser stitched it up and told us that if needed, she could have surgery later. Now you can hardly tell and she is definitely not interested in surgery of any kind. I recently seriously injured my face by falling on glass. Kaiser stitched it up and said I could have surgery later if needed. Not needed, though months later I am still healing from these deep cuts. It is amazing how you can heal.

Kids fall down a lot. I used to compare my battle scars with my friends with some pride. In my opinion, you should reflect a bit on why you think a minor scar would be such a problem anyway. I hope you do not transfer this anxiety to your daughter. Focus on her character more and her face less--it will be better for both of you in the long run. That said, as a mom I can certainly appreciate how you can get all freaked out about some things, so please don't think I am not sympathetic. oops


My son had a bad cut on his cheek (he's very fair and the scar was bright) and I got Maderma for Kids. It really worked! You just have to be digilant about it and it does take a couple of months, but it's well worth the price and effort.
Vitamin E oil is the answer. Get a good one at Berkeley Bowl or Llasa Kharnak in Berkeley. Always helped us for preventing scars. Anonymous
I think you're over-reacting. Kids get scraped and bruised a lot when they are young, without lasting scars. They have young skin that heals well. Your doctor checked it and said it's fine. The best thing is just to leave it alone and let it heal. The one thing to avoid would be drawing your daughter's attention to it so that she picks at it. Repeated removal of scabs can cause scarring. --

20-month-old's keloid on the nose

July 2002

Our 20-month old daughter had to get two very small stiches on the top of the bridge of her nose a few weeks ago after enduring a nasty bonk onto a windowsill. The stiches dissolved, and the wound looks almost healed now, but she's developed what seems to be a keloid underneath the wound. You can't see it, but when you feel the area it is hard and weird. We're putting calendula cream, vitamin E oil and aloe vera on it a few times a day, but is there anything out there that can heal this keloid-type scar tissue? Thanks for your help! Nora


I have several burn scars, which *would* have been keloid (as third degree burns form keloid scars) had I not worn pressure garments. The constant pressure prevents the keloid scars from growing upwards and forces them flat. I don't know what you could use to apply pressure to a scar on the nose, though. But, scars fade with age. A lot. Good Luck. M.K.
Vitamin A (retinol) is really a fine vitamin for skin. It is available in a dropper as mycelized A. One drop on her nose should be enough each day to help. You might also ensure she has plenty of eggs and butter to get dietary vitamin A (not pro-vitamin A from plants, which is not converted to retinol easily in children, diabetics and those with low thyroid). EFAs as cod liver oil (1/ 4 tsp/day for her age) has also been recommended for skin health, including psoriasis and eczema.

Jin ShinJyutsu, a type of body work, can be especially helpful. I recommend Barbara Baiardi (235-0616) and Leah Statman (525-5080) who work a lot with kids and their health issues. Any injury to the center part of the body such as the bridge of the nose has some significance in Jin Shin, by the way. I hope this helps! Nori


Do young children scar?

Jan 2000

My daughter is 16 months old. Last week she took a very bad fall. She is fine, but she scraped her face badly. We carefully washed the area regularly, and put on antibiotic ointment. The area seems to be healing normally. But the scabs have now fallen off, and the skin underneath still looks pink, shiny, and not like the rest of her skin. I am very worried that she will scar. My husband says that children that age don't scar. A friend says her now 4-year-old still has a scar from this sort of thing that happened three years ago. While I am extremely grateful that she is fine, I feel terribly responsible for the fact that she may now have scars on her face forever. Did your children scar at this age? Karen


Yes, they can scar. If you are concerned about the appearance, try applying vitamin E oil to the scar area. My friend's daughter had surgery as an infant, and her scar has been greatly helped by the daily application of vitamin E oil.
My daughter had a very bad fall off the monkey bars six months which left a giant bruise and scrape on her chin. Now there's only a small mark that I don't think anyone would notice if they weren't looking for it. That said, I think it's a good idea to call the pediatrician for more information; and if a fall is bad enough for you to feel worried, it's worth going in for an appointment, just to get it checked out.
My daughter took a perfect crescent-shaped fingernail gouge to her right cheekbone in daycare at about 12 months. 11 years later she has a perfect crescent shaped scar on her right cheekbone -- bigger, but faded and mostly noticeable to her mother -- who still feels guilty (if not personally responsible). You should ask your doctor about a facial scrape, because you don't want to find out later that you could have done something, and didn't.
Children do scar. I have a small scar that I got when I was just a few months old from gashing my chin on a corner table. My kids both have minor scars here and there and both have chicken pox scars. I've been told that rubbing vitamin E on healing wounds, cuts, scrapes etc. help the healing and scarring process. It's certainly worth a try (if she doesn't rub it off). You can also lightly massage around the area to bring more circulation to it, which would also minimize scarring.
I don't know about 16 mo old, but my sister fell off her bike and literally plowed the street (still full of sand from winter) with her face when she was 8 or 10. It was a horrendous sight, but it healed fine and she has no residual scars. The only thing we did was to squeeze vitamin E (out of the gel capsules) on it regularly, as that is supposed to promote healing.
When he was 2 1/2, my son fell down our front steps and scraped the top of his nose terribly. The scab healed within a few weeks, but he also had red, shiny skin there for several months. It took a long time, but the area did eventually heal completely. Now, at 5 1/2, there's no sign whatsoever of the accident. This was a few years ago, but I seem to recall that his pediatrician recommended that we rub vitamin E into the area as it healed. You should check with your daughter's pediatrician about the best way to minimize scarring. Best of luck!
My daughter was 13 months old and fell on concrete and scraped her left eye area pretty badly. All I did was keep it clean but like your daughter, after the scab fell off, the skin underneath was pink; but one month later you couldn't tell she had fallen. I'm sure your daughter's skin will return to its normal texture/color in no time.
I wouldn't worry too much. My 2 year old son has had numerous scrapes on his face and knees. After the scab falls off they do stay red and shiny for quite a long time, but eventually they have all faded away completely (sometimes the redness lasts for 2-3 months) You did the right thing and if you didn't need stitches I wouldn't give it another thought. The doctor has told me that if the wound is big or if you've had stitches - it's important to keep it out of the sun until it is completely healed. That may mean applying total sun block to the red skin area for awhile.
My son got scratched on his face when he was 2 and still has a faint scar (at almost 5). I felt terrible, because it was very noticeable for over a year. It didn't occur to me that he might scar, since the scratch wasn't deep, but then he picked the scab off! Afterwards, I found out some things that would have helped. Vitamin E oil helps heal scars (I think you're supposed to put it on after the scab comes off, for about 3 months?), also it is very important to put sunblock on the area around the scar until it heals completely, to minimize discoloration. Good luck. I think the tendency to scar is hereditary, so your child may be luckier than mine!
As a 2 and a half year old, I fell off of my tricycle when my older sister jumped off of the back. I slid on my face while going down hill. I still vividly remember this and I had serious abrasions on my face. My mother was also worried that I would scar. She was advised to put Coco Butter on my the abrasions. She did and I developed no scar. I don't know if I just wasn't going to scar as a two and a half year old or if the Cocoa Butter helped, but it can't hurt. Good luck.
One more note on kids and scars. My son had a serious facial injury when he was little which he has almost no scar from. The plastic surgeon recommended putting sun block on the area everyday for a year because the scar tissue pigments differently. Sometimes it's the pigmentation that is more visable than the scar.
Yes, children that age do scar as I still have a very noticeable scar on my face from an accident when I was about 2 years old (and I'm over 40). My mother at the time put vitamin E oil (from a vitamin E capsule) on the scar daily and says that this much reduced the thickness, hardness, and bright red/ purple color of the scar. She put the vitamin E oil on for a couple of years. It is known to reduce scar tissue. Good luck.
The answer is yes, if you let them go out in the sun. I also didn't realise this and my daughter has a scar patch on her nose because we were having a beach holiday at the time she scraped it (in the most minor way). Other cuts and scrapes that were not exposed to the sun haven't scarred the same way. The mark is still not that bad - now she's twelve it's barely visible. During winter you shouldn't have so much trouble with sunlight - just make sure she wears sun protection for at least a couple of weeks by which time the new skin will be better able to protect itself.
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