Scar Treatment for Children’s Sports Injuries
Children often receive scars from playing sports. Whether it’s a cleat to the knee in youth soccer, a face mask bump in peewee level football or a cut finger on an ice skate, children pick up cuts and scrapes quite easily while playing sports. Sometimes these injuries result in permanent scars. Since children are often unkind to other children that look different or less than perfect, it is important for parents to try and reduce the size and brightness of sports scars to prevent hurt feelings and emotional scars. There are many ways that scarring can be diminished, depending on the location, the depth and how well the child’s body heals itself.
When the skin is severed through the outer surface to the dermal layer, it tries to knit itself back together. This is done by using collagen to produce new skin, or scars, to fill in the gaps. This new skin is firmer and less elastic than regular skin. It also has a different color and smoother surface. Kids’ scars can be reduced in size and thickness when they are treated promptly so that they are less noticeable and may eventually fade away.
After the child has been treated for the sports injury, healing can begin. One of the most important steps in avoiding infection is to clean it routinely as directed. A bandage helps to protect the wound from dirt and further damage. As a scab forms, it should be allowed to grow without being pulled away. This is a tough lesson for children to learn, but it can minimize the scar’s size and the amount of time it takes the wound to heal.
As the wound is healing, it is important that the child stay hydrated. This improves the skin’s ability to heal. Getting plenty of rest is also helpful, since the body does most of its healing when it is sleeping. Avoiding sunshine on the scarred area will help reduce discoloration.
For large, deep facial scars, doctors may recommend scar revision surgery. The scarred skin is reduced and blends in better with the existing skin’s surface. Scarring still exists, but it is less noticeable. With or without revision surgery, smaller blemishes can be treated with scar medicine. Silicone gel, for example, is safe to use on kids and reduces the amount of collagen that is produced. In turn, the scar is smaller and blends in better with the surrounding skin. The gel is applied to the scarred area twice per day for at least three to four months. A child’s skin tends to heal faster and more completely than an adult’s.