Advanced search

Mumsnetters aren't necessarily qualified to help if your child is unwell. If you have any serious medical concerns, we would urge you to consult your GP.

Post dog bite scars

(19 Posts)
user1476038599 Sun 09-Oct-16 20:39:52

Hi I am new to mumsnet and am hoping to get some advice. In July 2016 my son was attacked by a dog on his face whilst on holiday in Cornwall. He was taken to Plymouth hospital where he received emergency surgery under general anaesthetic and 15 dissolvable sutures. He had a laceration to the bridge of his nose, punctured cheek and slit from the corner of his nose to his mouth. The first 2 weeks i was cleaning the wound with saline water and gauze swabs given to me by my local gp and we applied chloramphenicol eye ointment 3 times a day as advised by the plastic surgeon. Unfortunately the sutures did not dissolve and a day 16 he had to have sedation and the sutures cut out. Since then we have been prescribed dermatix silicone gel which we apply twice a day and massage into the scars.
He has been having dermatix gel for almost 2 months now and the scars are very red and some are raised. We are looking for any advice on what else we could use? What other treatment options there are? Can anyone recommend any specialists / paediatric dermatologists that Anyone can recommend who may be able to help? We live in Dorset.
I have spent hours searching the Internet looking for answers and miracles. He is the happiest smiliest little boy ever and it breaks my heart what he has gone through. Only a month before the dog bite he was in hospital after being diagnosed with viral meningitis. As I don't have a magic wand to rewind time I would like to do everything within my power to reduce scarring for him. Thank you for reading my post and for any advice you have.

Anothernamechanger1 Sun 09-Oct-16 20:49:41

Oh my goodness poor you and poor ds, what a nightmare time for you. That must have all been so traumatic.

I take it you have asked your GP for second opinion? I have scars from accidents when I was a young child. Perhaps not whilst they are red and swollen but bio oil has been great to help the fading for me (have used it as an adult)

I can't unfortunately recommend any specialists but wanted to bump the thread for you.

Smb1987 Sun 09-Oct-16 20:57:51

Thank you for your reply. I have just realised I could change my username lol!
I'm not gonna lie this is the worst thing i have ever experienced and it kills me inside. I really struggle to deal with what has happened and what makes it worst is that my now 4 year old saw the whole thing happen.
My gp referred me to the max fax surgeon in salisbury hospital but they were no help just said to leave it as it is. Apparently I can't use bio oil until he is 2 years old.
Thank you again for your reply x

Anothernamechanger1 Sun 09-Oct-16 21:09:24

Sorry didn't realise how young he is! How is your 4 year old coping with it all? Perhaps you may have a touch of post traumatic stress? Do you have anyone in real life you are able to talk to about it, talk through what happened?

datingbarb Sun 09-Oct-16 21:20:31

Gosh I'm so sorry for you both hoe awful

I think time, bio oil and SPF will help

My dd had a nasty accident (no where near as horrific as your dd) and had a really bad cut above her eye, she had to be stitched by a plastic surgeon and I was recommended bio oil and plenty of SPF to protect the new skin and nearly 3 years on dd scar is just a very thin silver line, it's taken time but it's fading all the time

datingbarb Sun 09-Oct-16 21:22:43

Sorry how old is your son? I read as he was 4 so maybe just lots of moisturiser, spf until your able to start bio oil

Anothernamechanger1 Sun 09-Oct-16 21:27:44

Doesn't say how old he is (obv less than 2 so very little) the 4 year old is the sibling dating.

Smb1987 Sun 09-Oct-16 22:22:17

Sorry my son was 18months old when it happened. My husband was at work when it happened as I was on holiday with a school friend. It was her dog which makes it even worse as she has not spoken to me since it's happened.
I have recently started counselling after being on a waiting list. At the moment it's not helping just keeps bringing it up. I spend several evenings a week in tears about it. It hits me once both boys are in bed and the day winds down. Thankfully my mind no longer plays vivid videos of the accident as that was stopping me from sleeping.
My 4 year old is very sad about my other sons scars and was terrified of our dog when we got home. He talks about it a lot which makes me very sad that he had to deal with that and be in hospital with me whilst his brother was treated etc. My 18m old threw a ball for our dog the day after his accident which made me feel very sick.
I'm sorry this makes it sound like this post is all about how I feel it's not at all I am just greatful for anyone's advice.
I'm trying so hard to get referred to a specialist who can give me a plan of action. I would hate in years to come to look back and think why did I not do this / try this etc. He is soooo young and it never should have happened and I am just trying to pick up the pieces and get normality back. I'm getting sick of people looking at him when we're out and about or if he is in a trolley and asking me what's happened.

Anothernamechanger1 Mon 10-Oct-16 07:00:29

Ok counselling sounds like a very positive step, please bare in mind it isn't an instant fix, it takes time and yes it will bring it to the surface but that isn't a bad thing. It definitely sounds like PTSD. I had this after witnessing a bad firework accident. I was as you describe. Re living it, not sleeping, guilt (even though it wasn't my fault) i had to have sleeping tablets for a while too. If it had of been one of my kids involved it would've been so so much worse so I can only begin to understand how hard this is for you. Please don't give up the counselling, be honest with them, don't hold back. This wAs not your fault and us as mums we always give ourselves a hard time and blame ourselves but this was just a terrible terrible accident. Thankfully he is young and unlikely to remember what happened.

With regards to people looking at him, I understand why this is hard for you. I would feel the same if it was one of mine but try to look at it from their perspective, if you saw a little one with still raw scars on his face you would feel sorry for him as it is a sad thing to see. Try to develop a matter of fact approach about it? I have 2 scars on my face from when I was a child, they are noticable but not terribly so I say this from experience.

This is all still very new to you and him. I'm not suprised the scars are still very prominent, he is a baby and their skin isn't as tough as ours. I know it's hard for you having to look at him every day but this was a traumatic accident to the skin and it needs time to heal. It won't be long before you can use the bio oil. I doubt anything will completely get rid of them but they will fade.

Easier said than done but stop being hard on yourself, you did not do this to him. You sound like a very caring and loving mummy and need to look after yourself too. Lean on real life support, don't stop talking about it, you will get past this with time and support. X

Anothernamechanger1 Mon 10-Oct-16 07:01:35

Sorry that was very long and I don't want to make out im some professional as I'm not obviously.

Smb1987 Mon 10-Oct-16 07:52:07

Your right the guilt eats me up inside all day every day! Both boys were within hands reach when it happened. Why couldn't it have happened to me. I'm so full of anger with the fact my kids were Put in that situation too.
My husband doesn't understand why I am always so upset about it. He says that he just looks past the scars and doesn't notice them but with me our little one will be doing something super cute and i think aww look at him he is so cute and then my eyes get drawn to the scars and my stomach sinks!

Anothernamechanger1 Mon 10-Oct-16 08:58:44

Just remember scars don't define anyone, it doesn't change who they are, adult OR child. Please make sure you carry on your counselling. Perhaps if you're really struggling consider seeing your GP for help with your mental health also? Not suggesting you need it but remember there is that help too.

LHReturns Mon 10-Oct-16 20:52:58

Oh OP, you write so beautifully and as a mother of a 2 year old boy, I find myself welling up just reading the story. I send you so much warmth and support as you begin to heal from what happened. You deserve to heal, and all I can say (easy for me to say as an insider) is that I so strongly believe that your gorgeous little boy will be so unaffected by this attack. He is tiny, his brain is so flexible, and I really believe the ongoing pain is all yours. Horrible for you, but comforting in some ways.

Your little four year old - I rather feel it is wonderful that he can talk openly and regularly with you about what happened. Surely that is how he processes and dismisses it all.

Onto your question about what can be done...I am in London, and I do not know if you have the finances or insurance to cover any of this.

But a few enormous recommendations from me:

David Floyd is part of the plastics team at the Portland Hospital - specialising in both children and women. When my step daughter nearly ripped her ear off in a sailing accident (could have had life long physical and cosmetic impact, the ear was half dangling), Floyd operated. He did the most beautiful job and no one could have said more about his care, attention and focus on getting her the best result she possibly could.

Simon Eccles, also at the Portland is absolutely the best there is. I know of many children he has performed very sensitive cosmetic work on (after injuries / birth defects etc).

I'm not saying your son requires surgery, he probably doesn't. But I wondered if you dragged him up to London for a day out to include a consultation with one of these guys (or someone else specialising in paediatric plastics) you will KNOW if you are doing everything you can to maximise his skin recovery. I would be just like you - I would need to KNOW that I had showed him to the very best and asked what more we could be doing. Perhaps nothing, or perhaps something small - but you will know. Thy will know the best products and best ways to look after the scars as they heal. Other posters are right - this happened just a few months ago. Skin takes much longer to truly repair...jeez, 4 months after my c-section it looked bloody awful (red and raised). A year after that I was delighted (flat, very thin white line).

Even with the passage of time I know that scars can be fixed up and even redone for a much better result (with the right surgeon doing it). Just don't while he is still little and not fearful.

I wish you all the best. You don't deserve to feel what you are. Get better so you can enjoy your little guys. I LOVE boys so much. I am 7 weeks pregnant right now and would just love another little man like you have!

LHReturns Mon 10-Oct-16 20:54:54

** clearly I meant "Just DO IT while he is still little and not fearful."


Smb1987 Mon 10-Oct-16 21:48:10

Thank you so much for your information and kind words. My boys are my absolute world. Reading your post made my eyes well up with tears. I would do anything for a magic wand. I know I am fighting a battle with myself it's like I have another person in my head most of the time. I think the only way I can start to heal is by knowing I have done everything and looked down every avenue possible for him. I need to get over it so I can like my husband look past it and just see our beautiful happy cheeky baby for him without being drawn to the scars. I don't want to look back in years to come and wish I had done something different. I will always have the what ifs and regret of going on that holiday and I don't think the guilt will ever go. The viral meningitis was scary but once he was out of hospital recovered there was no visible reminder which is why I am struggling so much more with this. It hurts that the one friend I would have turned to to talk to or cry down the phone to or whatever is the one person who put my children in that awful situation in the first place. Makes me feel very alone and question a lot of things.
I had spoken to spire healthcare in Southampton today and the laser centre in Bristol but I will definitely contact the Portland hospital. Thank you so much again

ktmummy1 Mon 10-Oct-16 22:34:06

Ok I can empathise completely. Not from the same cause at all but my dd had loads of very bad scars on her face after having the most severe case of chicken pox my GP had seen. Her face was literally covered in deep scars. They were glowing red for 12 months. But now, 18 months on, they are barely visible. The worst ones are there as pock marks but totally skin tone so are hardly noticible, many have faded almost completely. She was 2.5 when she had it.

I can only offer my reassurance that time (and lots of it) is a great healer with regards to scars. Your sons skin may never be totally flawless but these scars which seem so important now, will fade enormously in the next year and beyond. Do not let this ruin your enjoyment of him. Rest assured, they WILL fade and improve. Enjoy these previous early years without looking at his scars. Once faded, you will wonder why you felt so upset.

Also, remember he is so young and will grow and his skin will stretch etc loads yet which will only help to improve his scars further....

It's only natural to feel guilt as a mother as we want to protect them but you did not do this, life carries scars and all of us have some one form or another....but they will get so much better in time.
Much love and empathy

LHReturns Mon 10-Oct-16 22:51:21

Ktmummy, I am so happy to read your post!! I remember reading your agonised posts (was that a whole 18 months ago now?!), and feeling for you so much. I am so happy your DD (and you!) have totally recovered from her horrid chickenpox.

ktmummy1 Mon 10-Oct-16 23:08:40

Thanks LHReturns..I was devastated at the time and so desperate for reassurance. It made me really depressed but now I realise that the Mum's were right, they really do fade to almost nothing xx

FifiK Mon 10-Oct-16 23:18:29

I am so sorry this has happened and hope you are all ok. I just wanted to recommend a gel called 'Heal Gel' it was created by plastic surgeons to help with scars. I bought it in Space NK and it was amazing on a surgery scar but I'm not sure if it's ok for a baby but please have a look at it
I wish you all the best and they WILL fade x

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now