My toddler fell on the coffee table in January, and had paper stitches to secure the wounnd. However, she has been left with a small indented scar which is still red. Is there anything I can do to improve the scar? Would laser treatment work or is she too young? Thanks
What Scar Treatment Options are there for Toddlers?
Doctor Answers (3)
Toddler with a scar
If it is red you should wait to see if that resolves. That is assuming that the redness is the part of the scar that stands out the most and the part that you are most worried about. It may be prudent to wait for the toddler to at least be 3 years old. You can wait for awhile before the child starts getting affected by their own self consciousness which occurs around 5-6. Procedures done on children under 3 can be fraught with a lot more risks with anesthesia. Here is a video on scar revision and links to more infomative videos:
Children and scars
This is a great question Bonny. Scars on children take a lot longer to mature compared to adult scars. They can stay red for up to two years. Laser treatments for toddlers is a bit excessive--rest assured the redness will improve naturally. If you must, you can purchase over-the-counter scar creams such as Maderma or ScarGuard to place on the scar. This might help accelerate the process. With regard to the indentation, the best option for this is scar massage. Whenever you are able, just use the tip of your finger and apply moderate pressure in circular motions over the scar. Do this several times a day for a minute or two. This will also allow for accelerated scar maturation. If the indentation remains, a scar revision can be performed, but this should not be considered until your child is a late teenager after her growth spirt.
Scars and Children
The time it takes for a scar to mature for children is much longer than for adults. The bad news it that it can take two years for a toddler's scar to mature. The good news is that it should continue to improve to two years, so "doing nothing" is a reasonalble treatment when the scar not causing physical problems.
Normally indentations remain, but the redness should lighten, and often resolves completely. Silicone patches are amost impossible to keep in place on children, but topical silicone gel treatments, like kelocote, are simple to apply and can help. Scar massage, can also accelate maturation of the scar.
More invasive scar revisions require cooperative patients, so they are a few years off. Laser treatments can be used to lighten red scars, but again cooperation is needed. The only way to know if that will help your todler would be with a consultation appointment.
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