Kids are curious creatures, and it’s just about impossible for active child to avoid scrapes and cuts. Some TLC and a kiss from Mom may be all that’s needed in many cases, but sometimes, cuts go deeper and have the potential to scar. When that happens you need to treat the wound quickly so it doesn’t get infected.
The Best Way to Treat a Small Cut or Scrape
First, if the wound is actively bleeding, you have to apply direct pressure with clean cloth or gauze over the site for up to 10 minutes. The most common mistake is taking pressure off too early. Here are some more tips:
- Once bleeding stops: Wash the wound gently with soap and water for a few minutes. You could also soak the wound in the bathtub. This will decrease the chance of infection and prevent dirt from getting trapped in the skin.
- After cleaning: Place some antibacterial ointment on the wound to keep it moist. Cover the area with a dry bandage until it heals, about a couple of days.
- Apply Scarfade to the site twice a day as needed, once the wound has healed. This will help lessen the appearance of any scar that has formed.
Does My Child Need Stitches?
Some wounds are minor enough that just a few stitches will suffice. Here are some guidelines to help you determine whether or not stitches are needed:
- Cuts that go all of the way through the skin may need stitches.
- Any gaping cut showing dark red muscle or yellow fat should be closed, even if small.
- Any cut that is more than a half-inch long should be closed.
- Small cuts that are not gaping may not require stitches but may benefit from the use of steri-strips.
- If your child has a cut that is deep, gaping, or in a cosmetically sensitive area, they may need stitches.
How Can I Make My Child’s Scar Less Visible?
There are some things you can do to minimize your child’s scar appearance once the skin is healed.
- Protect them from the sun. Damaged skin can become permanently discolored by the sun for up to six months following an injury. Minimize sun exposure to the healing cut, keeping it covered with clothing as much as you can. You should also apply an SPF sunscreen of at least 30 to reduce darkening of the scar (referred to as “hyperpigmentation”). However, don’t apply sunscreen until two weeks after the cut.
- Massage the area. Scars may soften and flatten more quickly when massaged. Using your fingers, apply a bit of pressure and massage the scar in a circular motion.
- Use silicone products, which can soften, flatten, and lessen the appearance of a scar if used as directed.
Scarfade is one example of this, proven to work on a variety of scars. Try it for your child today!