Keep the wound covered
According to experts, it’s okay to keep some mild wounds uncovered. However, if the injury is in an area prone to get dirty or irritated, placing gauze or bandage over the wound is the better option.
For kids who cannot stay still or remain conscious of their wound, it’s best to keep the wound covered for a while. Change the bandage daily or when it gets wet or contaminated.
Covering the scrape, cut, or burn reduces the risk of infection. This is crucial because infection prolongs the inflammation phase of wound healing and increases the risk of scarring.
Additionally, keeping wounds moist and covered during the early healing phase appears to hasten wound healing and decreases the risk of scar formation.
Apply petroleum jelly
If you have plain petroleum jelly at home, you can also apply it over the wound to retain moisture and form a protective barrier. You can apply a bandage or gauze afterward, if needed.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, petroleum jelly prevents the wound from forming a scab. They explain that wounds that form scabs take a longer time to heal.
Avoid scratching the injury or picking at the scab
Here’s another practical but challenging tip to prevent wounds from scarring: instruct your child to avoid scratching their wound. Moreover, try to stop them from picking at scabs.
Scratching and picking at scabs cause more inflammation, making scars more likely to happen. To help your child, cut their fingernails short. You can also use anti-itch ointment suitable for wounds.
It’s also good to avoid stretching the area of the skin with the wound. Apply protective bandages or tapes (depending on the type of injury). Silicone gels can also help with this.
Take care of the fully-healed wound
Once the wound heals completely and you notice visible scarring, continue taking care of the affected skin. Minimize the appearance of scars by massaging it gently from time to time and applying sunscreen over it for up to 6 months after the injury. This is because hyperpigmentation after wound healing is common and may worsen with sun exposure.
Likewise, you can also consult a dermatologist for products that can “erase” scars. These products typically flatten, soften, and improve the discoloration of scars.
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