How to Treat and Prevent Toddlers' Scars
As a child begins to move, crawl and walk, getting hurt is something that cannot be avoided. This is a natural phenomenon of growing up that every child goes through. Parents can take any amount of precautions, but little ones are always going to find a way to hurt themselves. We cannot supervise every second of the day to make sure that they are never injured. Accidents can happen at preschool, at daycare or even when we turn away for a split second. Injury is an inevitability.
With some injuries though, come scars. As your child becomes more adventurous, there might be several occurrences that lead to scars in your child’s life. Once the pain of the injury fades the scar may not. Scars can last a lifetime, but is it safe to attempt to diminish a child’s scar or even a baby’s?
HOW CAN A SCAR FORM ON A CHILD OR BABY?
There are a number of ways that children are put at risk of scarring. It may be found after a baby is born that they will need invasive surgery such as cleft lip repair or surgery to repair heart abnormalities that will leave a scar. Scars from these incisions will stretch and grow with the baby.
Toddlers mostly experience wounds that leave scars in a more natural way. They wander more and in turn are hurt more often. While learning to walk, falling could cause a scar. A fall from a high chair or a dog bite can cause an injury that leads to scarring. There are many unpredictable ways children receive scar-producing injuries. A quick survey of your friends with show you that few of us make it through childhood without a scar under our chins, near our eyebrows, or both.
The healing process requires the production of collagen to knit the skin back together. The collagen-rich repair may remain visible as a scar.
HOW TO TREAT A CHILD’S WOUND
When a child is hurt the crying usually begins pretty quickly, but the parent must work despite the crying to ensure that the wound does not become infected. Infection could lead to further complications down the road.
It is best to give the wound a gentle wash before doing anything else. Use cool water and run the wounded area under the water. A child is used to water so this step shouldn't necessarily scare them, however it may be uncomfortable. Never use any harsh soaps, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol to clean the wound. These will only slow down the initial healing process.
After thoroughly rinsing the wound under cold water, the next best step is to use an antibiotic cream. Then cover the wound with a bandaid or pressure cloth to keep the wound moist and safe from infection. This allows the healing process to begin properly.
The hardest step for little ones to follow is to leave the scab alone as the injury starts to heal. Picking away at the scab over and over again will almost guarantee a scar. When the scab is removed from a wounded area it traumatizes the wound. For adults, taking the scab off one time and not allowing the scab to reform by keeping the wound properly moist can actually speed up the healing process. However, it is rare that a child will ever stop picking at their injury. The reforming of scabs over and over again means that the wound is dehydrated. Keeping the injury covered with a bandage helps prevent a scar to form and keeps little hands away.
Keeping the new scar clean and hydrated is the best possible way to create a perfect environment for it to finish the repairs we can’t see, underneath the skin.. Ideally, a thin layer of moisture over top of the scars best. Any applied product should be just enough that it lightly covers the wounded area. At this stage there is no need for a bandage.
TIPS TO REDUCE SCARS ON BABIES AND TODDLERS
It is possible to treat a child’s scar. Even though a scar may not be completely removed it is very possible to reduce the appearance of a scar. If during the healing process you are using an ointment to keep the area moist and hydrated, the child will be accustomed to this consistency and process. Therefore using a scar gel will most likely not scare or intimidate them.
NewGel+ offers a silicone gel for scars that has a soft and silky feel to it. This gel dries quickly which is a great bonus when using it on a child. The gel is not sticky and also has no odor. All of these qualities create a great combination product for children. There will be no provoking smell that makes the child want to wipe away the product and the smooth application of the gel will not make the child uncomfortable.
This product is safe to use on children ages 2 and up. Over time, the gel will flatten, fade and reduce the appearance of the scar. It can be used on both old and new scars. If your child has a current scar that has been there for awhile, you do not have to be worried about starting this process too late. This gel can be used at any time. If your child is under the age of 2, consult your physician or surgeon and use any scar product under their direction.