Minimizing Facial Scars on Children

During a recent episode of “Plastic Surgery Today,” a concerned mother called in to tell me that her 18-month-old daughter had fallen and cut her forehead — and that the injury had left a scar. She wanted to know what she should do.

The most important thing to do in this scenario is to follow your pediatrician’s instructions in injury care and follow-up. Since ultraviolet exposure is the biggest enemy of scars, it’s also important to use sunblock when the child is outdoors. The fairer the child’s skin, the worse the sun exposure will be for the scar.

If it looks like the scar will be raised or is thickening, silicone sheets are very useful for the flattening and fading of scars. When used early after trauma or surgery, they can help bring back normal color for both hypertrophic scars and keloids. Other treatments, like Mederma, have great marketing — but not necessarily any proven benefits.

Bumps and falls happen with every child, and in most cases scars fade by themselves over time. But don’t hesitate to contact a plastic surgeon to discuss the scar and explore all your options.