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Severe chickenpox pitted scars on sons face - looking for support

(53 Posts)
fake68 Mon 06-Aug-12 13:10:12

Hello, my ds got chickenpox 7 weeks ago and he has been left severely scarred on his face he is 11 and there are deep pitted scars about 25 of them on his forehead, cheeks and chin. They are still very red at the moment and know that the redness will fade but can anyone tell me it the pitted scars will get any better over time his face looks really terrible and when he is outside the light shows up all the holes in his face.

We were abroad when he contracted the chickenpox and they were like boils on his face and all over his body, the body ones have about gone now but his face was so lovely before this happened - please reply

ShowOfHands Mon 06-Aug-12 13:13:09

DD had severe chicken pox 15 months ago. She has around 9 scars on her face and neck. They're colourless but pitted They haven't improved really apart from the angry, red colouring going. DD is proud of them atm but she's only 5. I know of plenty of dc who have had scars initially which faded later.

savoycabbage Mon 06-Aug-12 13:15:17

IRS good that the ones on the body have gone. He must gave good skin. Could you go to a dermatologist for advice.

My dd has some scars on her torso from chicken pox. It seems to be on the parts of her that don't get exposed. I don't know if that's a coincidence or not.

justabigdisco Mon 06-Aug-12 13:17:47

No advice here sorry, but marking my place for any good suggestions

fake68 Mon 06-Aug-12 14:01:39

ShowOfHands, can you tell me how long the redness took to fade?

shelley72 Mon 06-Aug-12 14:15:32

DS had severe chicken pox just before he was 3. He is now nearly 5 and the scars are still very bad on his face, although not as red. His body has healed better, but the spots on his torso were not as deep. It made me feel very sad for him initially, as he had such beautiful clear skin. The scars are just part of him now, and he's still every bit as beautiful.

DD also had it when she was a few weeks old, was completely covered but has only really been left with a few scars on her lower body which no-one should see when she's older - unless they are getting too close wink.

I tried rosehip oil and decleor gel (as part of daily body lotion routine so he didnt know what I was up to!) but I dont think now that they will ever go, nor do I make an issue of the scars - as i really dont want him to be self conscious at all. He's still my gorgeous baby boy smile.

ShowOfHands Mon 06-Aug-12 16:21:06

I have no idea I'm afraid, a few months or so? I don't look at her and see the scars, I just see her. I mean they're obvious and fairly big/pitted but I just see her. It can't be helped. She's beautiful.

fake68 Mon 06-Aug-12 19:17:40

Thanks for your replies, children are all beautiful regardless of any scars and I know he will always be my gorgeous boy, he says it does not bother him but I have caught him looking in the mirror and at old holiday photos but I didn't say anything to him, I can only hope that when the angry red colouring fades he will look a little better.

worryingwillow Tue 07-Aug-12 00:44:01

If its any consolation as to how common it is my dd had cpox at 14 months and has two pitted scars on her face, they faded from red fairly quickly but I don't expect they'll get better now than they are.

Ds had chickenpox at the same time roughly when he was 4 (this was 9/10m ago) and has no scars on his face but has 3 really quite big scars on his stomach and back - one is almost the size of a 1p for example and very purple. I don't think it'll get better, I think he's prone to keyloid scarring like me.

nailak Tue 07-Aug-12 01:13:17

i think it is different in an older child when it comes to approach, as they are more aware of looks coming up to puberty etc, so probably getting professional advice, while at the same time boosting his esteem and confidence in other ways might be the way to go.

nankypeevy Tue 07-Aug-12 01:21:42

If it helps, my daughter got a Right Dose of the pox when she was 3. She had some really bad scarring on her face, mostly on her forehead and chin.

GP commented on it, and said that kids' faces grow from the middle out - so the scars would shift and not be so obvious. Also, they would stay the same size, whereas, she would get bigger.

All happened as he said. She's now nearly 9 and the scars are still there - but they are the same colour as the rest of her face (only purple in temper) and have moved so the obvious chin ones are now in her jawline and the forehead ones are heading towards her hair line.

Having said that, the body ones are all keloid and a mess.

However, she was properly poorly and hospitalised with the pox, so I'm not going to worry too much about the scars.

Am a total convert to vaccinating for the pox after seeing the state she was in. I'd always thought it was a mild, normal, childhood disease...

interested1 Tue 07-Aug-12 18:43:08

Sorry to hear about about your DS fake68. My DS (nearly three) also recently had a bad dose of the chicken pox (hospitalised) and has been left with scars on her face and body - some pitted. How big are the scars on DS's face? In terms of diameter, and how deep? I only ask because I am hoping to see a dermatologist this week and can report back.

Those of you slightly further down the line, how big were the scars and did you notice any improvement in terms of them getting smaller and less deep over time?


interested1 Tue 07-Aug-12 18:43:50

Sorry, meant my DD.

fake68 Tue 07-Aug-12 23:03:48

Thanks (interested1) I would be very interested in what you're dematologist tells you, my ds has about 25 -27 (I tried to count them when he was not looking) pitted scars on his face, he has 7 on his forehead about biggest being about 4mm in diameter and about 1mm deep, the rest are on his cheeks and chin different sizes and depths, he has one really deep one on his cheek about 1.5mm in depth, they are still very red at the moment and looks terrible in sunlight aswell as artificial light in shops. Sorry about your dd, before this I had no idea how badly some children were affected by chickenpoxs.

I'm only hoping that when the redness goes that he will look better, it makes my sad when I look at his face as it is at the moment.

fake68 Tue 07-Aug-12 23:08:01

Thank you everyone for your support it helps to know i am not alone with this.

itsnotjustaslap Tue 07-Aug-12 23:48:21

fake68 I am so sorry that your boy has had it so badly. Although I have not had as many pitted spots on my face as your son, I have a few scars on my face as an adult from childhood cp.

They have healed pretty well. The redness has completely faded and the scar tissue (in me at least) has turned white. There is no need to use concealer or make up to cover it.

They are still pitted slightly, but have filled in somewhat. The light can catch them (just checked) but they look pretty inconspicuous. One of mine is fairly prominent because it is in the centre of my forehead, the others around my hairline; but unless the light caught it, no-one would know it was there.

Hope this is a little reassuring for you both

hellymelly Tue 07-Aug-12 23:58:46

I think a dermatologist is the way to go. For regular scars there is something called dermatix, a clear gel, that helps flatten out the scar, and leaves it smoother. My dd had it for a nasty scar on her face, she still has the scar (it wasn't stitched or glued, she was a baby and it was really mismanaged) but it is nice and smooth, no bumps, not too indented. I'm not sure if it works on chicken pox scars but it may do. I bought mine through the dermatologist but Amazon sell it. Heal gel is good too, that would also help with redness (google it).
Other than that, I imagine that later he could have filler injected into the pitted areas to smooth them if they are really noticable when he is an older child. but a dermatologist would be able to tell you just what could be done now and later on.

twonker Thu 09-Aug-12 18:13:49

Hi everyone. I agree with you that the chicken pox can be really awful, and the long term effects really unexpected for me. I know that by mentioning homeopathy, my suggestion is liable to be shot down in flames by the anti homeopathy contingent. However, for those of you who are open minded about homeopathy, and who feel that conventional medicine has nothing to offer, I would recommend it. My daughter had awful pox, 30 scars on her forehead alone. She was 3. They have all but disappeared now, and I credit this to the homeopathic treatment she had from a highly skilled and qualified homeopath.

My DD had very bad chickenpox over two years ago. Firstly I'd say you can't even begin to tell how the scars will be until 6 months to a year after the event. The redness took some months to fade - even on my DD2 and DS who had 'normal' doses of CP. 2 years on DD1 has various pitted scars still on her face, but in all honesty they are very hard to see. The pitting has become much less noticeable. I know it is difficult - especially as he is that bit older (my DD is now 7) and so maybe a bit more aware of it, but I think you have to wait a fair bit longer until you can know how they are going to end up and try not to worry too much. As others have said, there are various dermatology options and it may be worth seeing someone sooner rather than later so you know what is best to do as an action plan.

fake68 Fri 10-Aug-12 10:40:35

Thanks you NellyTheElephant I think I will see a dermatologist as soon as I can, I am now starting to feel a bit better about his face and it has only been about 2 months since the chickenpox and hope that this time next year things will be alot better for him. My dd also had chickenpox 2 weeks after ds and she does not have a mark on her you wonder how one can have it so bad and the other not.

I think I will keep this post updated as the week and months go on while things are fresh in my memory as all yours replies have been very supportive to me and hopefully others.

justabigdisco Fri 10-Aug-12 14:51:35

I'd really be interested to know
a) how you get to see a dermatologist and
b) whether there is anything they can do.
Please report back!

hellymelly Fri 10-Aug-12 16:09:16

Your GP can refer you to a Derm. I saw one privately after my dd's got her scar, so that is an option too. (not hideously expensive for a consultation).

interested1 Fri 10-Aug-12 20:54:09

Follow up to my earlier post - took my dd to see a dermatologist. They said the scars would improve dramatically but that indents would remain to some degree. They also recommended vit c both orally and topically.

Nellythelephant - sorry to hear about your dd, but glad her skin has improved. Did you use anything on the scars?

Would also be interested to learn more about the homeopathy route - twonker.

Would agree that the Dermatix gel is good. I used it on my forehead on a scar and it def helped. Also vit e is good. As is lavender oil. Buy some vit e capsules and squeeze the boil inside out and apply. You can also put lavender oil at same time. Both very good for healing.

twonker Fri 10-Aug-12 22:22:21

hi interested1

I can only really recommend a qualified practitioner. my dd was under the care of a homepath because of her severe eczema, so she sees her every few months, takes time to chat to her about her skin, and also asks about things like appetite, sleep, energy levels. then a remedy is prescribed which addresses more than just her skin issues. I'll find a link for you if you like.

twonker Fri 10-Aug-12 22:25:06
fake68 Sat 11-Aug-12 12:04:17

twonker - thanks for the link I have found a qualified practitioner very near me so i'm going to give her a call on Monday as well as going to a dermatologist as soon as i can.

interested1- thank you for the follow up on your dd's appointment with dermatologist, i'm glad for you that you have beeen told that your dd's scars would improve dramatically, did they give you any advice on best brand of vitamin c cream, oil, or serum? -shelley72- mentioned rosehip oil which is a good source of vit c, we give ours multi vit's daily already.

WhereMyMilk Sat 11-Aug-12 12:16:29

Anything with silicon in is the best thing for scars. You can get it on prescription. Ask for Silgel. It is a clear gel so ideal for facial scarring.

Good luck. My 3yr old is in the middle of the pox sad. Has some terrible ones on his lovely face but hoping they will fade with time.

My 6yr old had it when he was 8months and still does have scars, though much less visible now and I have to really look for them now if that helps.

Piemistress Sun 12-Aug-12 07:22:36

I had read somewhere that vitamin E oil is supposed to help with scarring? You can get it from.superdrug for about £3.

Bonsoir Sun 12-Aug-12 07:31:01

I have two pitted scars on my face from chickenpox (when I was 7), one between my eyebrows and one on the side of my nose. They really don't bother me (and I am fairly vain!) as they have faded completely to match my skin tone.

Having said that, I insisted that my DD, who has the same very fine skin as me, was vaccinated against chickenpox. I don't know why the vaccination isn't more widely advertised as it is very easy to administer (in two goes) and prevents what is often a very nasty childhood disease with long-lasting scars.

milkjetmum Sun 12-Aug-12 07:54:52

Hi - I don't have any experience with chicken pox scars in particular, but about 5 years ago I was hit by a car and left with a deep scar on my leg - my keys gouged into leg and left my skin looking like someone had stuck a big fork in it (ouch!).

I used scar healing strips (can buy in boots for about £10) and that really helped to level it all off for me. They are a silicone-like adhesive that you cut to size (comes in postcard size sheet).

I worn these at night for a few months (you keep re-using it until it loses it stickiness) and think it would be great for kids - no creams etc involved, not too 'sticky' so no discomfort on pulling off. HTH

TitWillow Sun 12-Aug-12 13:51:37

DD had it about a year ago, and has white, almost pigment free spots on her body, where the poxes were, and some craters on the face, the worst being nearly a centimetre across, above the bridge of her nose. The redness has completely faded but they are, to me, quite obvious.
DS on the other hand has only one scar, a white mark on his lip. I think the difference is that DD has eczema, and dry skin, and maybe her skin is less able to heal cleanly?

I was quite worried about DD's scars, but DM pointed out that nearly everyone has had chicken pox, but you almost never look at an adult and think, "gosh, look at those chicken pox scars," so presumable by the time we are adults they have mostly faded or stretched to the point where they are not noticeable to others? I'm hoping so!

EightiesOlympicGolds Sun 12-Aug-12 14:08:10

I would look into getting silicone gel, as others have said. My pharmacist told me this is what plastic surgeons use to minimise starring and particularly to even out bumpy scars. My son came through chicken pox ok but had a nasty fall which scarred his face. I know exactly how terrible you feel for them but they are still gorgeous.
I will check my brand of silicon gel later as think it is different to the others mentioned so far. Was told you can but it though it's about £30, but we asked for it to be prescribed and doctors agreed. It has really helped in just a few months.

Hartey40 Mon 13-Aug-12 19:53:05

Hi Fake68,

I'm sorry you are still looking for support for your sons scars, you know where I am if you need more. Can I just say we went to both a dermatologist(private - one of the best in our area) and there is absolutely no magic potions for pitted scars I'm afraid, we also went to see a plastic surgeon (privately) and got exactly the same response, we wasted a lot of money.

The red will definitely go, it took 6 months for dd's to go, some

Hartey40 Mon 13-Aug-12 19:56:18

Sorry posted too early. Some of the pits may fill in over time some will remain but will fade and soften over time, but may still be noticeable in a certain light.

It will take up to 12-18 months for the scars to fully mature and I can assure you they will improve a lot.

I wish you and your son the v v best.


fake68 Mon 13-Aug-12 20:57:48

Hi Hartey40

Thank you for posting and your continued support, I think I have always known that I will just have to let nature take its course and let the scars mature, (but the waiting game is hard), I am just keeping his face well moisturised and always use sunblock as you advised.

Someone had suggested to my dh that he took a photo of ds's face every week in the same light and that would show any improvement as when you see him everyday you don't see the change. I had no idea he had done this but today he showed me them and yes over the last few week there is a difference in the colour and texture of his skin, we showed ds them and even he see the difference ( he told me that some of his friends have said that he looks alot better over the last few weeks) which has made him feel alot better about going back to school.

Hartey40 Mon 13-Aug-12 21:10:43

Hi Fake68, yes we took a lot of photos too and it really does help especially as time goes on, I am at the stage now whereby I can look at both pre-pox and post-pox photos which shows how much they have improved and me also as I used to get really upset.

Your son sounds like he has some good friends and that will help his confidence and self-esteem. I wish I had talked to my dd more about her scars as i know her friends say things to her sometimes and she still draws pictures of princesses covered in the pox, it might help him talking about it.

Keep in touch x

fake68 Wed 15-Aug-12 12:25:04

Hi Hartey40

I'm glad things are better for you and being able to look at old photo's without getting upset it's what I hope for myself in the future, I know that time will come but the waiting is hard as you know.

Will keep in touch xx

EustaciaVye Sun 19-Aug-12 21:29:23

My dd had chicken pox age 3. She has some deep pitted scrs but they are small. Two years on they are the same colour as her normal skin.

I had chicken pox at 26 and ten years on still see the scars. They are only noticible to other people if they are doing my hair ! or when i have been in the sun they go pinker than the rest of my face.

well done to your dh. you cant beat facts to give perspective :-)

EllieKo Sun 13-Jan-13 17:40:04

Try not too worry. The best thing for chicken pox is Bio Oil. I've had it three times and it really works. My children have it at the moment and I'm using it on my daughter. It is already making a difference.

dfghj Thu 06-Jun-13 21:35:30

Hi there, I appreciate this thread is from almost a year ago, but I'd love to hear how you are getting on ref chicken pox scars. My DD who is 4 got a very severe dose 4 weeks ago, necessitating antivirals and a hasty early return from holidays, and has been left covered in livid red marks where each scabbed spot was. Her face is particularly bad and some people in shops etc have stopped to ask what happened to her (I know, mad!).

At the moment I can already tell some will be pitted, but its the redness that's driving me crazy. I think the pitted ones can wait to be worried about in the future LOL. She is starting school in August and has also recently been made to wear an eye patch 6 hours per day but the poor love just keeps rolling along happy as Larry. Bless.

I'd love to get a perspective from someone a year down the line after a bad dose. I hate CP!

justabigdisco Thu 06-Jun-13 22:54:02

My DD had them at 6 months and had a few nasty scars on her beautiful face. I have been really upset about it. We have been using bio-oil daily. I have to admit, a year down the line, they are looking better and I'm hoping they will continue to improve. Of course we'll never know if it was the bio-oil or not!!

justabigdisco Thu 06-Jun-13 22:55:14

Oh and looking back at photos, the redness probably lasted 3/4 months. In a way I think the earlier they get them the better as skin is so young and presumably heals better than an older person??

tazmo Fri 07-Jun-13 21:50:35

Not sure - tried bio oil? My dd has a few on her face but she's 3 so not self conscious. Hope she'll lose it a bit loil

dfghj Tue 11-Jun-13 19:54:07

Bump bump - anyone else, pleae? Xx

Alexanderwar Tue 11-Jun-13 21:21:29

My DD had a really bad bout of cp over 3 months ago now. We were abroad at the time and she was literally covered in hundreds of very red spots and a month later, whilst they had slightly faded, most were still very red and visible and she looked like she still had the virus. I was pretty upset and thought she would have the marks forever. I remember taking her to my GP who was no help and just looked shocked at how bad they were and commented that the ones on her back and torso were very deep so would probably stay. I then took her to a leading dermatologist who felt that most would fade over time despite how horrendous they now looked and that I would need to give it a year. 3 months on I can honestly say that they are tons better. She still has quite a lot of red marks but they have faded loads and the deep ones on her back and torso are no longer really pitted so they can fill in a bit. I am sure she will be left with a few scars but it has shown that time is a great healer. Btw - I was told bio oil etc was a waste of money and to just keep her body and face moisturised. Also ensure you use sunscreen on the scars as the sun can cause them to scar more.

Selba Tue 11-Jun-13 21:59:30

i agree bio oil is an utter waste of money . I am appalled they are allowed to market it the way they do

Snazzywaitingforsummer Tue 11-Jun-13 22:06:55

You can get Kelocote gel prescribed to help smooth out scarred areas - worth asking about. It can also be bought over the counter but is expensive. Try asking your GP for a prescription. Also using high factor sunscreen is very important.

newbiebaby Tue 18-Jun-13 11:28:33

Just wondering if anyone has had any improvements since posting. ..anxiously looking for positive stories

justabigdisco Tue 18-Jun-13 21:45:23

A few people have posted positive stories! I've just been looking back at photos over the last year (my 18m DD had the CP a year ago) and the scars really are lots lots better.

Snazzywaitingforsummer Tue 18-Jun-13 21:54:27

How are you and your DS doing, OP? Have you tried anything new on the scars? Have you been taking photos - that sounds like a good strategy to become aware of improvement over time.

interested1 Tue 09-Sep-14 07:51:46

I thought I would follow up on my initial post from a couple of years back as I am sure that there are people out there now whose kids have chicken pox and are looking for support and advice.

All I can say is that the scars will improve and fade with time, but it takes time. My DD had them pretty bad and the scars were noticeable for a good year or so. They've since faded and filled in a bit (especially the scars on her back). The two scars on her face have remained pitted but they are small and get smaller as her face gets bigger. I only notice them in a certain light now. Other people don't notice them at all. The redness has gone completely.

In terms of creams and ointments we just used cocoa butter after bath time to keep her skin moisturised.

Hope this helps...

RainbowInACloud Sat 13-Sep-14 09:06:31

Hiya, we had the same thing. 2.5 years ago DS1 had horrendous chicken pox and was in hospital. He has numerous scars on his forehead and body. You can still see them but I'm so used to them I hardly notice.
I don't think you can make them go so you have to give the child skills to cope with them. I tell DS1 to answer in a matter of fact way if he's asked about them but I'm stills bit stumped about what to tell him to say if anyone comments negatively on them. He had a child say they were ugly the other week and he was upset- what could he have said in return do you think?
I actually wouldn't swap or change anything about him so we have to 'Own' the scars now IYSWIM

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