At Wellspring Pediatric Plastics, we understand the importance of minimizing scars and supporting families through the healing process after surgery or injury. Scars can be a natural part of the healing journey, and with proper care, we can enhance the recovery and reduce the long-term visibility of scars. In this blog post, we will provide valuable insights into incision care during the initial weeks after surgery and elaborate on effective scar care for children.
Incision Care (1-2 weeks after surgery or injury):
In the early stages of healing, it is crucial to pay special attention to incision care to promote optimal recovery. Following surgery, maintaining cleanliness is paramount. Washing the incision site with soap and water and gently patting it dry helps prevent infections and accelerates healing. It is essential to resist the urge to pick or scratch the incisions, as this can impede the healing process.
To keep the wound moist and avoid scab formation, we recommend applying Bacitracin, Aquaphor, or Vaseline to the incision twice daily. Additionally, if applicable, covering the incision with a dressing and changing it twice daily for the first two weeks is advised. Sutures, if present, are typically removed within the first week to facilitate the healing process.
Scar Care (2+ weeks after surgery):
Understanding that the appearance of scars is a complex interplay of various factors, including how well the wound heals, its location, the cause, skin tone, and genetics, is crucial. Scar care is a long-term commitment that begins approximately two weeks after surgery or injury.
Scars typically undergo a predictable 12-month maturation timeline. Initially, scars may appear red, raised, and firm, but with time and proper care, they will gradually improve. Around the three-month mark, the scarring process begins to slow down.
To actively manage scars, starting two weeks post-surgery, twice-daily application of silicone gel (or strips) and scar massage is recommended. While any scar gel is suitable, we particularly endorse the use of Biocorneum for its effectiveness. Additionally, avoiding sun exposure is essential to reduce the appearance of scars. Sunscreen, such as EltaMD, can be applied after the initial two weeks, providing an extra layer of protection for healing skin.
At Wellspring Pediatric Plastics, we are committed to providing comprehensive care for children undergoing surgery or recovering from injuries. By following these guidelines for incision and scar care, parents can actively contribute to the healing process and promote the best possible outcome for their child’s skin. Remember, each child is unique, and their healing journey may vary, but with patience and consistent care, we aim to make the scar care experience as smooth as possible for both children and their families.