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SOS loking for Support: chicken pox scars on face-nose

(62 Posts)
WishUpon2Stars Thu 15-Mar-12 15:56:38

My dd had chicken pox 1 year and 3 months ago (she was 2, 5 years old then) and she was left with several chicken pox scars on her gorgeous face, including one on the middle of her nose (pitted). Since then, I?m still grieving for my little one perfect face and it has been very hard for me to accept those scars when I look at her every morning. I cry almost every day and I feel so guilty because I feel that somehow I could have done something to prevent this from happening, only if I knew this dreadful illness cause these horrible scars. Every day I wish they could magically go away. This hurt?s me even more because she is really, really gorgeous?

When she had it, I was 38 months pregnant and never had had chicken pox (not sure by then, I had to do some tests to see if I was immune, wish I wasn?t?), so I was worried about the consequences for my baby ? I ended up with chicken pox 2 days after labour and was separated from my baby during his first week of life, not knowing what could happen to him?

I've read several posts? here on the subject trying to find some hope, but it is been very difficult for me to do so. It?s true that the bigger one crater type on her forehead improved a lot (is less deep and white) and even that one on her nose improved a little bit, much less however, considering it is much smaller (there was a time I had the hope that with time it will fill in?). But the one that she got?s on the nose, despite of being smaller is the one I hate more, because is in the middle of her face and is there constantly remind me of this?

It?s also true that they faded a bit, and in some light are almost unseen, but in other type of light they are very noticeable and they look ugly.

During 9 months I?ve applied kelo-cote; recently I started to use Vitamin E oil and rosehip oil, but sometimes I feel it wont make any difference at all at this point?I will continue to do so because for me the hardest thing is to wait without doing nothing?thinking of using phytaoil?

I know that there are laser options available, but the idea of having to wait that she get?s old to considerate them, makes me anxious, because I would like to get rid of those scars now!! Sometimes I try to convince myself that with more time and as her skin grows maybe the scars will go, but I?m not sure of that and some of the messages that I?ve read here make me doubt?

I would like to ask for your help, anyone with a similar experience to shed me some light and bring me some hope, including phonix, hartey 40, among others:

- What have been helping you to cope with this?
- One year has gone since dd have the chicken pox. Will the scars continue to improve with time (fill in, get smaller) or this improvement I get after a year is the best I can expect?
- What exactly do you mean by fade???
- Does phytaoil make any difference in scars this old? Do you think it worth the chance?
- For those whose dd?s had scars on the nose: do you notice any improvement as time goes by?

Please, tell me something because i'm really depressed about all this...

shelley72 Thu 15-Mar-12 16:14:47

i cant really answer your questions, but i do understand how you feel to some extent. my DS also has very bad scarring to his face, and all over too - he had CP when 2.9. he is now almost 5 and its still very noticable.

i had no idea that CP could leave scarring that deep - he didnt even scratch his face. in the beginning i used rosehip oil on his face, but tbh i have stopped now. they havent really improved that much. i can understand what you mean - i look at pics of him when his sister was born 6 wks earlier and he had perfect unblemished skin (apart from a few toddler war wounds) and it makes me sad a bit that he didnt get away with it unscathed as some children do. DD who was 6wks had far far more spots than him and probably only has a couple of scars on her body.

i have felt a bit helpless about it (would never consider surgery though), BUT he is still my gorgeous DS, and a few scars wont change that - they are just him now, and part of his life story. i am thankful that i have a beautiful, happy, healthy, cheeky little boy - read around on MN and you learn to count your blessings.

hope someone comes along with some advice and hope for you..

gaunyerseljeannie Thu 15-Mar-12 16:23:49

In the scheme of things and in terms of facial deformity a pox scar is nothing. Everybody's child is gorgeous and should remain so in the eyes of their mum and all others who love then, no matter what shape and size their face nor what it is marked by, nor whether it fits a "norm" or not. If you carry on making a big fuss your lovely girl will think its something to fuss about. Take a look around at what other children and their families cope with and put it in perspective..... you don't want her to grow up thinking that how she looks makes her the person she is, do you? What if she had a real accident and it changed her looks? Teach her that its whats inside that matters and as shelley says count your blessings.

gaunyerseljeannie Thu 15-Mar-12 16:27:45

Actually, OP, I'm sorry that was a bit of a knee jerk, I've re-read your post and I wonder if the scars just symbolise the loos of that precious first week with your other baby. Making them disappear won't take that away, but speaking to someone about it might. I had post natal depression with one of mine after separation due to special care and I'm just wondering if that might have affected you too.
Sorry for being short at first and hope you are able to think around this before you buy more creams.

gaunyerseljeannie Thu 15-Mar-12 16:28:39

loss not loos ( good grief I am not doing very well here today grin)

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Thu 15-Mar-12 16:39:44

I am not sure of how to put this nicely but you should consider getting some councelling. It not really normal to be that guilty/obsessed or sad about it. Your DD is still gorgeous.
My DD1 had CP at 3 and still have some scarring the flat white ones are fading slowly but the pitted ones are still there at 7 (smaller), they might or might not disappear in time.
2 are on her face and it makes her even more gorgeous in my eyes.

I have scars on my forehead from toddlerhood and I have been called pretty many times in my life (without boasting), as was my dad who has been dropped in a fire place as a baby. I have never considered doing anything about it, it is part of me.

You are setting yourself to have a self conscious DD. "real beauty is skin deep" and her scars are part of her now. She IS still the gorgeous little girl you had nothing really changed.

Is there anything else underlying this obsession? It is not about the scars is it?

Sorry to be blunt BTW.

LeMousquetaireAnonyme Thu 15-Mar-12 16:46:38

Oh! There is nothing you could have done about it, and it is definitely NOT your fault.
Please talk to somebody about it before it affects your DD.

DeWe Thu 15-Mar-12 19:47:21

I'd agree with the others who say you sound over the normal level of distress on this.

Dd2 had chicken pox badly at 6 months. She has several deep scars left 8 years later, the worst ones are on her face, and the very worst is just under her eyebrow. Never has anyone noticed it, and she frequently gets complimented on her facial beauty.

To put in slightly a comparison, one of the other children who had chicken pox at the same time was hospitalised and ended up in a coma for several days, so a few scars seems trivial compared to what that family went through.

dikkertjedap Thu 15-Mar-12 20:01:15

I think that you need some help and speak maybe with your GP/Health Visitor, could it be that you have PND? Clearly, it is horrible that your dd has scars and hopefully they will improve over time. Apart from vaccinating you could not have prevented her from getting CP. Even if she had been vaccinated she could still have contracted CP, although highly likely in a milder version. So maybe vaccinate your younger child if you are very worried and hope that the scars in your older child fade. However, your level of distress could mean that you need help and it may be best for you to seek that sooner rather than later.

WishUpon2Stars Fri 16-Mar-12 08:56:49

I want to thank all of you who had the gentleness to take your time to come here and post some confort words. At this point it's really important for me to hear different perspectives free from the all emotions that i'm experiencing now and have some support from other mumies.

Later on I will return here to take some time to comment on your posts.

Meanwhile, It woud be great to hear more people that has gone throug the same experience.

WishUpon2Stars Fri 16-Mar-12 16:09:21

Hi, again...

I suppose you are right: my level of distress with this seems to be beyond the normal, and yes I had post natal depression or post chicken pox depression, really don’t know! I started to feel bad when I looked to my daughter’s face one month after the birth of my 2º child and after all the stress that was involved, and realised she had all those scars over there.
And, perhaps it’s also true gaunyerseljeannie, “maybe scars just symbolise the loos of that precious first week with your other baby”. It is confuse because I had many things going on at the same time. I’m in counselling trying to find out, but it takes time.

Rationally, I know that “its what’s inside that matters and “real beauty is skin deep”, and I’ve been trying to count my blessings. I know that there are far worse things than scars, and I’m aware that things could have been much worse for me and my other baby. But, somehow, I’m always thinking that things could be better if my dd didn’t have those scars, and feel very sad to note that the most part of other children’s don’t have any. Emotionaly, I’ve been feeling very hopless. I know it may sound horrible, but that’s how I’ve been feeling.

I didn’t know that there was a vaccine against chicken pox; no doctor ever mentioned that to me. I knew about that after my dd had chicken pox, by the internet. And no doctor asked me if I had had chicken pox while I’m preparing for pregnancy, not even that I could do a immunity test. That makes me angry. I think doctors minimise chicken pox, when in some cases it can be fatal.

Yes, definitely, my dd, still gorgeous and with her I’ve never maked a fuss with those scars. I put the oils while she is asleep, to avoid that she think’s that’s something wrong with her.

Anyone who coud answer my questions, please?

overmydeadbody Fri 16-Mar-12 16:18:48

I think you really need to seek some councelling about this.

A few chicken pox scars are not a big deal. Not now and not in the future.

Things would not be any different in you or your DD's life if she didn't have these scars, apart from your attitude, which, luckily, you can change.

Yes they will get smaller and fainter with time. But most importantly, they are not a big deal and won't make any difference to your Dd's percieved 'looks'. A beautiful woman will only look more distinguished with a few minor CP scars. They won't make her 'ugly'.

Get a grip, in the nicest possible way.

WynkenBlynkenandNod Fri 16-Mar-12 16:24:42

DD had CP at 5, had very few spots, didn't scratch but was left with a very noticeable pitted one on her nose.

She's 13 now and it is barely noticeable. I just asked her where it is and she pointed to a mole which bothers her - she had totally forgotten about the CP scar and she used to hate it.

EyeoftheStorm Fri 16-Mar-12 16:38:38

I think the scars have become a focus for everything you went through around the time your DD had chicken pox.

DS2 has a scar on his cheek from the feeding tube he had in the NICU and it is especially prominent when he is warm. It reminds me of those awful weeks when he was first born BUT I make a conscious effort not to let those thoughts run away with me. I turn them aside by looking at the colour of his eyes or the way he smiles.

I have chicken pox scars on my nose, cheek and forehead. I do not think about them and have never done anything about them. My mother has never in her life referred to them and I don't even think she notices them.

I asked my paediatrician about the chicken pox vaccine and he said that long term studies haven't shown that it protects people for life. I took this to mean that children could have the vaccine and then be left unprotected later in life eg when pregnant. Also a 2 year old's skin would surely heal better than an adult's.

I know you think it is the scar that is the problem, but hopefully if the counselling works then it will not feel so overwhelming as it does now.

ChickensHaveNoLips Fri 16-Mar-12 16:41:48

Most people carry a few pox scars. Both my DS's have them on their face, and I don't even notice them. I mean, I know they are there, but they're not the first thing I see when I look at them. Everyone has marks on their face, moles, spots, creases etc. If anything, these things make a face more attractive and interesting imo. I have a scar under my right eyebrow from when I was 3 years old and my mother was trying to cut my fringe. I moved grin

ballroomblitz Fri 16-Mar-12 16:44:08

You definately do sound like there are other issues going on OP. Possibly there was PND involved? Guilt in some way? You do sound a bit depressed tbh. I know we all want the best for our kids and it hurts when sometimes we can't protect them from the outside world. Unfortunately that's just the way things are.

From a personal perspective I had bad chicken pox at 12yo to the point it was internal and I spent some time in hospital. I had quite bad scarring on my face for a couple of years.

Honestly they will fade. I barely notice mine now, unless like now someone mentions cp and I check in the mirror smile The ones especially round the 'fatty' bits of my face are very unnoticeable. Only the ones really on my forehead I can see more in certain lights and I have a fringe anyway. Not through wanting to hide anything, it just suits the shape of my face.

I wasn't expected to catch cp at 12 as I had already had it before but obviously not enough to build up immunity. So I was allowed to play away with the little sis who had it. As you say - it can be fatal. In my experience that could have possibly been the reality. What are a few scars that no-one notices now compared to that?? Most of us have a few scars that we acquired at some stage throughout childhood on us.

Hartey40 Fri 16-Mar-12 19:55:10

Hi wishupon2stars,

I could of written your post!!

I'm in exactly the same position as you just a couple of months behind. My dd is left with a lot of scars on her face included a pitted one in the centre of her nose, which is very noticeable and people stare at it, mainly other mummy's I might add!!

I have a lot of regret and guilt? And I still research for 'magic solutions' but deep in my heart I dont think there is anything that can be done and we have consulted with a plastic surgeon . I dont care what others have posted here if it was there child they would be equally upset, it's not just one pox scar on the forehead it's a lot of pox scars on a small Childs face and yes it does matter!!

How do I cope? Most days I'm ok, I tell my dd every day she is beautiful, I make her hair pretty, I try and protect her from stares, mainly other mothers.
I moisturise her skin twice a day and use sunblock. I cry alone, I talk to my friends, I still can't look at previous photos, I try and look forward and not back.

I feel your pain I totally get it, pm if you need more support.


gaunyerseljeannie Fri 16-Mar-12 21:54:27

Hartey40 please don't assume our children's faces are not scarred, that is a huge assumption and insensitive. Perhaps others, like me, responded, because they have experience of facial scaring and deformity. So we might know what its like to have it in "our family"

Hartey40 Fri 16-Mar-12 22:14:52

It was not my intention to be insensitive I was merely responding to the comments about "a few pox scars" I felt this was a little dismissive to the op message. Unfortunately chicken pox can and does leave disfiguring scars for some children not all I might add.

I am struggling to see in my post where I made an assumption tbh??

phonix Sat 17-Mar-12 00:27:59

This must be faith, I don't come for weeks and when I do look in I see my name mentioned...

Dear wishupon2stars, when i read your op i too thought hartey40 had a name change. Sorry to hear there are more and more of us out there with this emotional burden! It looks to me that we all go through the same emotional process.

It's been 20 months for us since the dreaded pox. One scar remains and yes, it's the one on her nose, BUT knowing how extremely deep and inflamed it was at the time, I must say it has improved beyond belief. If it wasn't for a slight discolouration (she is olive skinned and her scar is a little lighter) most days I wouldn't notice it. It also has a funny triangle shape, which I believe comes from the fact that it wasn't meant to be the usual pitted pox scar, but a deep deep inflamed scar which lost its head way too soon.

For us, a good old massage with rosehip oil twice then once a day worked the best. Once I discovered this, I ditched everything else. Phyta oil only made her skin more oily and she kept getting blackheads. Vitamin E had a similar effect. The massaging has to last for a good few minutes at a time according to our good old GP. Which meant that I couldn't really do it whilst she was asleep, we just built it into our morning and bedtime routine. I guess we were lucky as she hardly ever asked any questions about it and I made sure we always talked about other interesting things or read stories whilst doing it. We don't do it so systematically anymore, only when I remember or when I see that her scar has become a bit more prominent (it does sometimes for no apparent reason, which can last for days and then suddenly it goes back to its "normal" hardly noticeable state).

For me the first 6 months were the worst. I remember being on the phone to my mum every single day crying my eyes out about the past, present and especially the future. I spent every waking hour googling miracle cures. And yes I must agree with the others here that you seem to be in a special mental state similar to PND. I was too, but for me it manifested itself in becoming even more determined in going on to having a third child. We always knew we would want another and the time seemed perfect. I've been in a state of grieving for a long time and getting pregnant was just the right thing to knock me back to normal.

I'm only speculating here, but in your case, as you were already pregnant at the time of getting CP it probably had the opposite effect on you.

For me, my new pregnancy opened up a whole load of other possibilites and gave me hope for the future. Now, for any "normal" person out there this will sound borderline mental... we had always planned to collect cord blood, but couldn't really afford it before. This time we felt even more determined to do it knowing that this will be our last child and there may even be a possibilty to use DD2's stem cells for helping DD1 one day. I know it sounds crazy, which probably only a mother in our position can understand.

However, I look at DD1 today and think totally differently. For us, it helped that her scar has never ever been an issue to her and to anyone else (but me). I know I'll never forget the day she first got the pox, how can I, it was my mother's 60th birthday! I still cringe when the subject comes up in school whenever there is an outbreak and it broke my heart when she drew a picture about a year ago of a face with lots of red spots on it. It's been put away with the rest of her "artwork" and every time I come across it, I remember...

But luckily for me, I'm now in a state of mind when I remember but the feelings don't come flooding back like they used to up until a year ago.
I promise you'll get there too. Hope just by watching your DD getting on with her life, blossomming into a gorgeous big girl will help you put all this behind you!

phonix Sat 17-Mar-12 00:47:29

Oh, one more thing... I did know about the vaccine prior to my first two DC getting CP and was even contemplating vaccinating, especially our DS who is younger and fair skinned therefore thought he would benefit more. Never got around to vaccinating them even though friends of ours ended up at a plastic surgeon with their DD's poxmarks who did say that in his career he'd seen so many distraught parents post-CP and would definitely recommend vaccinating children against CP to prevent bad scarring, because you just never know...

Coincidentally, we've just been discussing it with DH what to do with DD2 who is nearly the right age for vaccinating and he immediately said 'yes, we'll do it'.

gaunyerseljeannie Sat 17-Mar-12 11:33:03

hartey when you said "I dont care what others have posted here if it was there child they would be equally upset" you made the huge assumption that we had no experience of it.

Hartey40 Sat 17-Mar-12 12:04:09

Ok sorry for that, I never meant to offend anyone, dont really want to get into an argument over a subject that I still get very upset over.

ChickensHaveNoLips Sat 17-Mar-12 12:42:08

I wasn't intending to be dismissive, just trying to maybe add a new perspective. Most people do have a few pox scars on their face. Most start out really noticable, and then fade as the child grows. My DC had chicken pox 6 years ago, and the scars that were initially deep and pitted have now become more shallow and less visible as their skin has stretched and grown. I didn't do anything to them, btw.

gaunyerseljeannie Sat 17-Mar-12 12:44:33

s'ok hartey sorry you are still upset, kind of you to support the op too smile

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