Surgical advice on scars

Dr. Ed Buchanan, a pedatric plastic surgeon, offers his professional opinion on treating scars on children
Parenting and Health Advice | Advice on scars
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Surgical advice on scars

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As a pediatric plastic surgeon, this is probably the most common question that I get. And it’s important for families to know that scars are going to get better with time. There are certain things that can happen and that parents can do to help these scars get better. But the most important treatment is time. Whenever we leave a surgical scar, we tell families that once the scar is healed, we start some circular massaging on the scar, we provide UV protection via sunblock or if it’s on the face a hat or camisole to protect the face. And then the other thing we can do is taping or using silicone sheeting, which are things you can buy in a local drug store. A lot of families ask me if Mederma or some of the named products you find in the drug store are useful or helpful. And I normally tell them they don’t hurt. There haven’t been conclusive research studies showing that they help more than just time and massage. So if they want to do it, and feel it’s helpful to do it, it won’t harm the scar. But the best thing is time, protecting from the sun, and massage. One thing the family should consider is that everybody heals and scars differently. Everybody’s skin type is a little different. Some people will heal with very thick scars that are wide or raised. And that’s why we normally use tape and silicone sheeting for these things. It’s hard to say exactly which one is better than the other because everyone heals differently. We provide recommendations. But the scar needs to be followed on a monthly basis to make sure that it’s going along the right path and not going along a path that we don’t want it to go down.

Dr. Ed Buchanan, a pedatric plastic surgeon, offers his professional opinion on treating scars on children

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Edward Buchanan

Pediatric Plastic Surgeon & Author

Dr. Edward P. Buchanan is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  He is the Chief of Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery at Texas Children’s Hospital. Before coming to Houston, he trained in Plastic Surgery at Stanford University and did further training in Pediatric Plastic Surgery and Craniofacial Surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital in Seattle, Washington.  Although he performs all kinds of Plastic and Pediatric Plastic Surgery, his main focus of practice is Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery as well as Craniofacial Surgery.When he is not in Houston, Dr. Buchanan enjoys traveling to countries across the globe to teach and learn from other surgeons.  His most recent trip was to Lilongwe, Malawi, where he was a member of the Texas Children’s Hospital Global Surgical Initiative to help perform and teach Cleft and Pediatric Plastic Surgery.He recently wrote a children’s book entitled, “The Adventures of the Prickly Pear and the Happy Hoglet: Beginning the Journey of the Mental Ninja.” The book is intended to help children begin to develop a healthy self-image so that they can begin their Journey to becoming Mental Ninja’s (mentalninja.org).  The story was inspired by the children and family’s Dr. Buchanan has cared for over the years. 

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