Keloid Formation on a 3-year-old Child?

My 3-year-old son suffered a dog bite on the side of his face about 1 month ago. He got multiple stitches on his cheek and also under the surface of his skin (imagine a U-shape). He did not suffered muscle or nerve damage. Now, we are left with unimaginable scars. Some scars are dark red, purple, and light pink. We are using silicone sheets for the scars. Inside of the "U" his cheek seems hard, like a buildup of tissue. Is this normal? How does the face heal in this case? The lacerations were so deep, I'm worried about his scars, the skin not being leveled, and the creases in his face. Any advise?

Doctor Answers 2

Swelling and keloids on a traumatic dog bite scar

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Your child may have a pin-cushion effect which may make his scar take longer to heal and remodel.  I would advise firm lymphatic massage and ancillary laser treatments, if applicable on exam, to treat his scars. Surgery90210

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 95 reviews

Scar/keloid formation on 3 year-old

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I would recommend at this point continuing with the silicone sheeting. You might consider trying a paint-on solution called Scarguard MD which contains silicone. I would caution you that the product also contains 0.55% cortisone which when applied to normal skin, can cause thinning of the skin when used long-term, so I would limit application of Scarguard to the thickened areas and only apply daily, Mon-Fri.

Another thing you could do is to manually massage the thickened scar tissue several times daily.

Scars continual to mature up to 1 year, sometimes even longer so you probably ought to hold off on surgical/laser interventions until then, as you will not be able to appreciate the final appearance of the scar for some time.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist

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