Scar Treatments for Kids
By Nicholas Bastidas, MD on 07/01/2020 4:32 PM
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Scar Prevention and Care for Kids, New York, New Jersey
Whenever a child gets a scrape, burn or a cut, there’s a chance a permanent scar could form. A scar is a mark left on the skin and it looks different from the surrounding skin because fibrous connective tissue has developed. Different types of scars require different types of treatment, depending on the damage to the skin. Let’s take a look at the various kinds of scars:
Types of Scars
A keloid scar is formed from collagen, appearing round in shape and dark in color. Hypertrophic scars are similar to keloid scars, but they are elevated from the skin and often are red in color. A sunken scar often appears because of a skin condition such as acne or chickenpox. Scar contractures are usually the result of a burn and the skin is pulled and tight.
How to Care for Children’s Scars
It’s likely that small scars will fade without treatment, but larger or deep scars need treatment. Of course, if you have questions about a specific scar, it’s best to talk to your doctor to create a plan.
Topical treatments. There are several lotions, creams and gels — usually with vitamin E in them — that can be purchased over the counter and they will improve the look of a scar. Topical creams such as Mederma, Aquaphor and Eucerine are known for softening scars. Make sure any topical cream you purchase doesn’t contain anything your child is allergic to. Some ingredients to look for in a topical treatment include:
- Onion bulb extract: an anti-inflammatory
- Allantoin: reduces itching and dryness
- Arbutin glycoside and kojic acid: help to lighten dark scars
- Hyaluronate: provides moisture
- Thyme oil: has anti-inflammatory properties
- Green tea leaf extract: is an antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory properties
- Silicone: hydrates and protects skin from bacteria
- Vitamin E: accelerates the rate of cell regeneration
- Hydroquinone: lightens the scar
- Alpha Hydroxyl Acids: promotes healing
- Vitamin A: stimulates natural healing
- Rose Hip Seed Oil: hydrates the skin
- Salicylic Acid: keeps the skin cells clear
At-Home treatments. Many of the ingredients listed above can serve as home remedies for treating scars. Some other ingredients for at-home scar treatment and removal include:
- Lemon juice: this can lighten the scar when applied directly to it
- Ice cubes: rub ice on the scar to help lighten it
- Aloe Vera: apply directly to the scar to soothe and repair the skin
- Tea tree oil: dilute the oil and apply directly to the scar to fade it
- Honey: apply directly on the scar to moisturize it
- Coconut oil: apply directly to the scar to moisturize it and fade it
- Lavender oil: apply directly to the scar before bed to moisturize and lighten it
- Olive oil: use pure olive oil to fade the scar
- Cucumber: fade a scar by placing a slice of fresh cucumber on it
- Cocoa butter: moisturizes the skin and removes scars
- Apple cider vinegar: put on a cotton ball and dab on scar, rinse after 10 minutes
Laser therapy. This involves using a laser light to remove the top layers of the scar tissue and reduces the thickness of the scar. This kind of treatment is usually for deeper scars and although a scar might still remain, it will be less noticeable.
Pressure therapy. This is a pressure dressing — including a stocking or an elastic bandage — that’s applied directly to the wound to reduce the likelihood of a scar forming.
Injections. Scars that are painful, itchy and/or red may require corticosteroid injections. These injections are administered right at the scar and help reduce the size and the overall appearance of the scar. Often, these injections reduce a scar by 50 percent or even entirely. However, there are possible side effects that can occur with injections and those should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
Scar removal. Scars from burns or thick scars may require removal. Depending on the scar, it may be removed and then replaced with skin.
Scar revision. To revise a scar, various methods are used to reduce the size of a scar or help it blend in with skin. This could be a Z-plasty (a type of cosmetic surgery), laser resurfacing (removes skin layer by layer), or dermabrasion (an exfoliating technique).
Silicone. Silicone gels and/or sheets can be used to treat burn scars. Medical grade silicone can soften and soothe scar tissue. Often, it can lighten the scar color and improve its texture. Some over-the-counter products include: Xscar Silicone lotions and Xscar Kids (https://xscarx.com)
Cryosurgery. This method uses freezing temperatures to destroy a scar and possibly even restore skin to its previous texture. This method can be useful for severe scarring such as keloids.
For more information on scar treatment or when to see a doctor, feel free to contact us today.
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