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Why "Wound Management" Isn't "Scar Management" (And Why It Matters)

While many parents recognise the difference between a wound and a scar, when treating these conditions on their kids, some do get it wrong – and use scar treatments on wounds, and vice versa.

To properly explain why it’s important to get the treatment right, we first have to differentiate the two.

Wounds vs Scars: Injury vs healing

What’s a wound? (It’s an injury)

A wound is a physical injury to your body, and can affect your skin and the area underneath it.1 In children, they are commonly caused by cuts, falls and scratching insect bites, among other reasons.

What’s a wound
What is a scar

What is a scar? (It’s the result of healing)

Although scars often bring about negative feelings, they’re actually a natural part of the body’s healing process – it’s how your child recovers from wounds and cuts. When a wound damages the skin, the body forms collagen fibres to repair the damage.2

Because the texture of this new tissue has a different texture than the existing skin tissue, it appears as a scar. Therefore, it’s safe to say that scars form only after a wound has been fully healed.2

Simply put, a wound is what happens when your skin gets injured. Meanwhile, a scar is the result of the completed healing process. In some of our other articles, we’ve detailed what you should do if your child has scars – and looked into the options available for reducing the appearance of scars.

Today, we’ll discuss why you shouldn’t use wound treatments on scars, and see how scar treatments work.

Why wound treatments don’t work on scars

Now that you know what a scar is (i.e., a wound that has already healed), you’ll recognise how these steps won’t help to diminish the appearance of a scar – since it’s already formed and no amount of cleanliness (or plasters and moisturising lotions) will change its appearance.

Why wound treatments don’t work on scars
How to manage kids’ scars

How to manage kids’ scars

Instead, a topical scar treatment can certainly be effective at improving the appearance of scars. That’s because a good topical scar treatment contains active ingredients – like cyclopentasiloxane (CPX) and Vitamin C ester – that can reduce the visibility of scars – especially raised and darkened scars that are less than two years old.

Dermatix® Ultra Kids, for example, has the abovementioned ingredients, CPX and Vitamin C ester. These work in tandem to lighten, soften and flatten3,4,5 your child’s scars – bringing the overproduction of collagen back into balance, while simultaneously lightening the colour of the scars. Best of all, this topical scar treatment is gentle on children’s sensitive skin, and can be used for infants aged 3 months and up.

Can I prevent scars by using a scar treatment on a wound?

Conversely, some parents believe that by “getting ahead of the issue” and applying scar treatment on a wound, they can prevent scarring from occurring in the first place. Instead of treating scars too early, it’s more effective to treat the scar when it’s formed – that is, when your child’s wound has healed and the scab has fallen off.

Can I prevent scars by using a scar treatment on a wound
Managing scars, the right way

Managing scars, the right way

Wounds, cuts and scrapes as an inevitable part of many children’s lives – and so too, are the scars that form as a result. What’s important is taking care of your child’s wounds to minimise scarring, and when scarring does occur, to treat it in a timely manner (when the scabs fall off) with a scar treatment that’s specially formulated for children’s sensitive skin – like Dermatix® Ultra Kids!

Dermatix Ultra Kids

Gentle on children aged 3 months and older
Gentle on sensitive and delicate skin
Lightens, softens and flattens scars
CPX and Vitamin C ester formulation is easy to apply, odourless and non-greasy
  1. American Cancer Society, Scars and Wounds, 2020
  2. WebMD, Scars and Your Skin, 2020
  3. Yun IS et al. Aesth Plast Surg 2013; 37: 1176 - 1181
  4. Yun IS et al. Aesth Plast Surg 2013; 37: 1176 - 1181
  5. Chernoff WG et al. Aesth Plast Surg 2007; 31: 495-500
  6. Fulton JE. Silicone gel sheeting for the prevention and management of evolving hypertrophic and keloid scars. Dermatol Surg 1995; 21: 947-951