My friend's 10 year old son was attacked by a dog. Right now, he has 42 stitches on his right cheek. There are three different cuts along his cheek from the dog's teeth. I am wondering what can be done to prevent scarring and what my friend should or should not be doing to help the wounds heal properly? Thank you in advance for your advice.
Best Treatments to Prevent or Minimize Scarring?
Doctor Answers 4
Minimizing traumatic scarring
Dog bite lacerations notoriously will result in scars often due to the jagged injuries that are caused by the teeth. If the wounds are properly repaired, this helps to minimize this from occurring. Other ways to help with the scar include products like mederma, scar guard and silicone sheeting. Avoidance of sun exposure is key with sunscreen. Finally, vascular lasers like the pulsed dye laser can help to minimize the appearance of scars. I hope this information helps.
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Kelocote to minimize scarring
We have had great results with a product called kelocote. It is a liquid silicone gel, that, when applied to post-traumatic wounds, creates very well healed scars. I would reommend purchasing the products with sunscreen. My patiens generally use this product on their scars after the sutures are removed, for about 6-9 months.
Scarring can be optimized by topical silicone and massage
Scarring occurs anytime there is a break in the skin down to the middle portion of the dermal layer, such as with a cut or puncture wound. Unfortunately, it sounds as if the cuts are deep enough to scar.
While scarring can't be completely avoided, the cosmetic appearance can be optimized by using cosmetic reconstructive techniques during the repair. Now that the repair (suturing) is done, there are 4 things you can do to help optimize the ultimate scar:
1. Keep the area moist with ointment over the next 2 weeks. Polysporin works great, but so does petrolatum (Vaseline) or Aquaphor. Try not to let the area dry out and form a thick scab
2. Minimize activities for 2 weeks. No excercise or any activities that will put stress or tension across the wound and spread the wound.
3. After 2 weeks of healing, apply topical silicone to the area for 2 months. This can be silicone sheeting worn at night while you sleep, or silicone gel to the area. Silicone is the only topical product proven to help with scarring.
4. After 4 weeks of healing, begin massaging the area. Use medium pressure and massage 5-6 times a day for 45 seconds to 1 minute.
Scars take several months to improve. If, after 2-3 months, the scar is not where you would like it to be, see a dermatologist or plastic surgeon to talk about other options such as dermabrasion, steroid injection, or laser treatment.
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These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.