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We’ve dealt with dog bites and dog bite scars before.

Now, four organizations have joined forces to raise awareness during National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 15-21. It’s estimated that 4. 7 million people are bitten by dogs every year. Yet most dog bites are entirely preventable through training, proper control of dogs, and education.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (ASRM), and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (ASMS) are concerned about dog bite injuries among patients of all ages. Children are the most common victims, followed by seniors and mail carriers. Every year about 600,000 children require medical attention for dog bites.

“Half of all children will be bitten by a dog by the time they are high school seniors,” said John Fraser, MD, FAAP, an injury prevention specialist who will represent the Texas Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics at the Houston event. “Every year about 600,000 children require medical attention for dog bites. As a pediatrician who has treated some of these kids, I want to do everything I can to prevent these injuries.”

Plastic surgeons, including reconstructive microsurgeons and maxillofacial surgeons, often treat victims of dog attacks and see firsthand how devastating these injuries can be. According to ASPS statistics, nearly 33,000 reconstructive procedures on dog bites were performed in 2010, up eight percent from 2009.

For more information and a brochure on dog bite prevention visit American Veterinary Medical Association web site.

We occasionally receive questions by email or in the comments section. Let us know if you have any questions related to scars, scar treatment or scar prevention and we will try to answer them. You can ask the questions anonymously via the comments section below. And remember, the only stupid question is the one you don’t ask.

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Strataderm is a rapidly drying silicone gel for treatment and prevention of scars. It softens and flattens scars, relieves itching and discomfort of scars, and reduces redness and discoloration associated with scars. According to Strataderm web site, a 50g tube of is enough for treatment of a 6×12 cm (2.5×5 inch) widespread scar. It should be ideal for a large burn scar

In a cesarean birth (C-section), the baby is delivered through an incision in the mother’s abdomen and uterus (womb). C-Section births exceed 30% in USA, Brazil, Italy, Mexico, Turkey, Korea, Portugal, Australia, Thailand, and other countries. China is the only country where C-section births exceed 40%. The number of cesarean sections in the U.S. has risen nearly 46% since 1996.

Every C-Section is a major abdominal surgery that leaves a scar. The size of your C-section scar will depend on several factors: the size and position of the baby, whether the C-section was planned or not, etc. Generally, the C-section scar is around 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) long and 1/8 inch (0.3 cm) wide.

Usually the “bikini cut” incision is used but sometimes the “classical” incision will be made vertically from just below the belly button (naval) to just above the pubic bone. To close the wound, some surgeons prefer to use staples whereas others still use suture; there is little statistical evidence to show that one way or another will increase or decrease the size or the appearance of the scar.

Treatment. Initially, the C-section scar will be red, raised and could itch. After the wound is closed you should start using a silicone based product like Strataderm to make the scar softer, flatter and smoother and to relieve itching. The majority of women will develop “mature” C-section scars by the sixth month after delivery. If you have darker skin and/or are prone to keloids you should consult a physician before the C-Section.

Acne is the most common skin disorder, affecting around 15% of the adult population and up to 80% of adolescents. Facial scarring because of acne occurs to some degree in most cases. The majority of acne scars are flat and depressed below the surrounding skin (atrophic), generally small and often round with an indented or inverted centre. To prevent acne scars, do not pop, squeeze, or pick at acne; do not pull scabs of acne; seek treatment early for acne that does not respond to OTC medications.

Types of Acne Scars:

–          red and/or hyperpigmented marks: a post-inflammatory change that usually disappears in 6-12 months

–          acne scars – icepick: depressed scars, deep, narrow and sharp; usually too deep for dermabrasion or laser skin resurfacing

–          acne scars – boxcar: depressed scars, round with sharp edges

–          rolling acne scars: depressed scars, wavy texture in the skin

–          keloids and hypertrophic scars are raised acne scars that may become larger and more noticeable, sometimes painful and itchy.  

Silicone gel like Strataderm is effective for treatment of acne scars and prevention of keloids and hypertrophic scars. Other effective treatments for depressed acne scars include laser skin resurfacing, dermabrasion, scar surgery (punch excision, punch elevation, punch graft, subcutaneous incision), fillers, chemical peel, microdermabrasion and similar procedures that you should discuss with your dermatologist. For raised acne scars, like keloid and hypertrophic scars, your doctor might consider options like intralesional injections, cryotherapy, surgery, laser and light therapy. Your dermatologist will be able to create a treatment plan based on the type of your acne acne scars, results you can expect, and your medical history.

Acne Scars:

A non-superficial burn (e.g. the deep partial thickness and full thickness burns) will always result in a burn scar. The scar’s severity will depend on the wound’s thickness as well as other factors, such as site of the scar, its healing process, age, sex, race of the patient, etc.

Burn scars may lead to three different types of abnormal scarring:  keloid scars, hypertrophic scars, and scar contractures. Keloid scars are an overgrowth of scar tissue with the scar growing beyond the site of the injury. These scars are generally red or pink and will become dark over time. Hypertrophic scars are red, thick and raised, however they differ from keloid scars in that they do not develop beyond the site of the injury or incision. A contracture scar is a permanent tightening of the skin that may affect the underlying muscles and tendons, limit mobility and possibly lead to damage or degeneration of the nerves.

To prevent abnormal scar tissue International Clinical Recommendations on Scar Management recommend treatment of widespread burn scars with a first-line therapy of silicone gel sheeting and pressure garments.

Widespread Hypertrophic Burn Scar:

Capstone Therapeutics announced that they have met the objectives of their second keloid trial for AZX100.

AZX100 is currently being evaluated for safety and efficacy of medical applications such as the prevention or reduction of hypertrophic and keloid scarring following excision of keloid scars.  Other proven clinical options for prevention of keloid scarring include application of silicone (e.g. Strataderm) after surgical resection which prevented development of hypertrophic scars and keloids in 75-85% of cases.

More information about keloid scarring:

Factors Affecting Abnormal Scarring

How to Avoid Abnormal Scars