Summer is a great time to be outside, whether swimming, barbecuing or just lounging in a hammock. But when evening descends, so too do mosquitoes and other bugs. You may swat at them and spray them, to no avail. Once you’re stung or bit, the site often itches. Naturally you want to scratch these areas, which could lead to scarring if you’re not careful.
Care for the Wound Well
Kids are especially prone to causing a scar form if they continually itch at a bite until it bleeds, then scabs over. Repeating the cycle over and over is the worst thing you can do. The best advice is to care for the wound well right from the get-go. According to WebMD, once you get a bug bite, you should:
- Clean the area with cool water, then take remove any dirt with alcohol-sterilized tweezers.
- Wash the bite carefully with a soapy washcloth.
- If the bite has resulted in bleeding due to scratching, cover it with a bandage to prevent bacteria from getting in. Dab on a little antibiotic ointment to speed up the healing process.
- Never pick at the scabs. For children, this is often easier said than done. Keep bandages on for a few days until the bite heals completely so they don’t scratch at it. Picking at a scab risks opening it up again and can lead to unsightly scarring.
After the Wound Heals
Sometimes even the best wound care results in scarring. Some people just scar more easily than others; and some areas on the body scar more readily than other parts because there is constant tension and pulling, such as on the knees and elbows. Here are some ways you can lessen the appearance of scars after the fact:
- Use sunscreen containing zinc or titanium dioxide, which prevents hyperpigmentation.
- Concealer can be used on facial areas if you choose a shade that complements the color of the scar.
- Collagen or steroid injections can help to raise scars that appear sunken, but this is an extreme option.
- Dermabrasion involves special equipment that removes the outermost surface of the skin, while a similar process called microdermabrasion is better for more superficial scars.
- Topical products like Scarfade, which help to reduce scarring on the skin. This medically-proven silicone scar gel helps regulate the body’s production of collagen and helps reduce the appearance of scars from all sorts of wounds. You can use it on anything from cuts and burns to sports injuries and severe bug bites.
If you’re unsure of what to use, consult with your doctor for further advice.