At What Age Can I Child Receive Scar Revision on His Cheek?

A year ago my baby at 8 months got a puncture on his cheek. I tried to get a plastic surgeon but the hospital would not call one. I let the er doc glue the puncture but I feel he did not close it properly. The scar is 4 months old, still very pink and looks wide. I have been doing massage, applying sunscreen every day, and applying silicon gel every night. He is almost a year. At what age is a revision possible? I do not want to make it worse but read it will widen even more as he grows.

Doctor Answers 4

Scar on 8 month old that occured 4 months ago is an early scar and waiting is most appropriate

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4 months is too early to judge. This pink and wide description will likely get better. At this time I would consider silicone gel to the area for the next 6 months or a year to see if that helps. Silicone gel is one of the only options that have been shown to make a significant difference based on scientific study. Also treatment of a baby this young is fraught with risks with anesthesia etc.

Bellevue Facial Plastic Surgeon

Scar revision

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First, it is too early to evaluate the quality of the scar. More than likely you should wait a year before making any sort of conclusions about it.  But, a scar revision may not be appropriate until the child is older.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

At what age to do scar revision on a baby

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Several considerations here before determining the age at which to do scar revision:

  • A scar continues healing for a year after trauma or surgery, so if the scar is improving it may be worth waiting to see the end result.
  • Doing a scar revision at a young age usually requires putting a child under general anesthesia as it is impossible to do the surgery on the face with the baby awake.  It would cause a great deal of anxiety as the child has to be kept absolutely still, so it is not done.
  • Children's skin heals remarkably well and while it's true that sometimes the scar widens as it heals during baby's growth, most of the time scars tend to heal better on a baby than on an adult.

Unless the scar is definitely changing for the worse, I would wait until the child is older and is able to tolerate the procedure better.  However, what you can do in the meantime is consult a board-certified plastic surgeon regarding the scar revision.

Emily Altman, MD
Short Hills Dermatologic Surgeon

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Scar revision on a baby

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Sorry to hear that your child had this injury. Generally I would not undertake a scar revision until a child is able to tolerate local anesthesia. This is usually about age 12. If the scar is particularly unsightly, you could consider surgery earlier but it would require general anesthesia.

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.