Wound Healing and Careenparentshttps://kidshealth.org/EN/images/headers/KH_generic_header_01_2.jpgHow well a wound heals depends on where it is on the body and what caused it. Good home care is an important part of healing.cut, open, cuts, cut, scratches, abrasions, wound, wounded, surgical cut, surgical incision, infected wound, stabbed, gun shot, skin infections, animal bites, tetanus, take care of a cut, injuries, stitches, stitch, stitched, stitching, sew up, skin, scarring, skin care, skin cuts, suture, tape, staple, staples, stapled, infect, infected, infection, pus, ooze, bacteria, dirt, itch, itching, pain, hurts, sore, heal, healing, scar, scab, bathe, bath, wash, incision, 05/06/201905/06/201905/06/2019Joanne Murren-Boezem, MD05/01/20199a278f17-17e2-4060-bece-fe1ed4227a6ehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/wound-care.html/<p>All kids get <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cuts-sheet.html/">cuts and scrapes</a> that parents can take care of at home. But what about more serious wounds, such as those that involve stitches or a hospital stay?</p> <h3>Different Types of Wounds</h3> <p>Most of us think of wounds happening because of accidents. But even clean surgical incisions (cuts) are wounds. So are places where tubes or catheters go into the body. <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/skin-hair-nails.html/">Skin</a> is the body's largest organ and helps protect it from <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/germs.html/">germs</a> (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) that live on its surface. <strong>So, anything that breaks the skin is a wound </strong>because when the skin is broken, there's a risk of germs getting into the body and causing an infection.</p> <p><strong>The deeper, larger, or dirtier a wound is, the more care it needs.</strong> That's why a team of doctors and specially trained wound care nurses work together to monitor and treat serious wounds.</p> <p>Doctors and nurses start by evaluating a wound based on the risk of infection:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>&quot;Clean&quot; wounds — those that aren't contaminated with bacteria — have the lowest risk of infection, making them easier to care for. The incision a surgeon makes on a person's knee during <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/acl-injuries.html/">ACL repair</a> is likely to be a clean wound because the area is cleaned with an antibacterial solution before surgery — and it's in a place where there's a low risk of infection.</li> <li>Dirty or infected wounds, like an <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/abscess.html/">abscess</a>, a deep scrape or cut, or gunshot wound, are a different story. They need special treatment and monitoring to prevent infection.</li> </ul> <p>Sometimes a wound is clean but there's a risk of infection because of where it is. Fluids and other contaminants can get into&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">a wound that's in an area with more bacteria — like the <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/kidneys-urinary.html/">urinary tract</a>, <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/digestive.html/">gastrointestinal system</a>, or <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/lungs.html/">respiratory system</a>. Dirt or a foreign object in the wound also can increase the risk of infection.</span></p> <h3>Closing Serious Wounds</h3> <p>If a wound is clean, a doctor will close it by stitching the edges together in two separate layers. The doctor will use dissolvable stitches to join the deeper layer of tissue under the skin. Then he or she will staple, tape, or stitch the skin over it.</p> <p>Sometimes doctors use dissolvable stitches or tape to join the upper layer of skin as well as the lower layer. Otherwise, the doctor will remove any surface stitches or staples after about 7 to 10 days.</p> <p>Doctors don't always close a wound right away, though. If there's a chance a wound is contaminated, they will leave it open to clean it out (for example, with an <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/animal-bites-sheet.html/">animal bite</a>). Closing a contaminated wound can trap bacteria inside and lead to infection. When they're sure no bacteria or other contaminants remain, they will stitch or close the wound.</p> <p>Sometimes, doctors decide it's best not to sew up a wound at all. If someone has lost a lot of tissue (like after a serious accident), it's often helpful to leave the wound open to heal through natural scar formation.</p> <p>The doctor will also ask about your child's <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/tetanus.html/">tetanus vaccine</a> status, to make sure it's up to date.</p> <h3>The Healing Process</h3> <p>Before healing begins, the body gears up to protect against infection. For the first few days, a wound may be swollen, red, and painful. This inflammation &nbsp;is a sign of the body's <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/immune.html/">immune system</a> kicking in to protect the wound from infection. Keep the wound clean and dry at all times to help the healing process.</p> <p>As the body does its healing work on the inside, a dry, temporary crust — a scab — forms over the wound on the outside. The scab's job is to protect the wound as the damaged skin heals underneath.</p> <p>Under the scab's protective surface, new tissue forms. The body repairs damaged blood vessels and the skin makes <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/collagen.html/">collagen</a>&nbsp;(a kind of tough, white protein fiber) to reconnect the broken tissue.</p> <p>When healing is done, the scab dries up and falls off, leaving behind the repaired skin and, often, a scar. At this point, the scar will be almost 80–90% the strength of normal skin. It'll take a few months for the scar to be back to 100% strength of normal skin.</p> <p>Scars look different from normal skin. That's because skin is made up of two proteins: elastin, which gives skin its flexibility, and collagen, which gives it strength. The body can't create new elastin, so scars are made entirely of collagen. They're tougher and less flexible than the skin around them.</p> <h3>Caring for Serious Wounds at Home</h3> <p>Serious wounds don't heal overnight. It can take weeks for the body to build new tissue. So good home care is important to prevent infection and minimize scarring.</p> <p>The doctor will give you instructions on how to care for your child as the wound heals. In most cases, doctors ask patients to:</p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li><strong>Keep the wound covered with a clean dressing until there's no fluid draining from it.</strong> A doctor or nurse will give you instructions on how to change the dressing and how often.</li> <li><strong>Wait about 2-4 days after surgery before showering.</strong> Because each case is different, ask your nurse or doctor what to do before your child can shower again.</li> <li><strong>Avoid soaking in the bathtub or swimming until the next doctor visit.</strong> Dirt in the water could seep into the wound and contaminate it. Also, there's a risk that a wound might pull apart if it gets too wet.</li> <li><strong>Try to keep pets away from the wound.</strong></li> <li><strong>Avoid picking or scratching scabs.</strong> A scab may itch as the skin underneath heals, but picking or scratching can rip the new skin underneath. The wound will take longer to heal and the scar it leaves may be worse.</li> </ul> <p>Our bodies rely on vitamins and minerals to heal. Offer your child healthy foods — especially lots of vitamin-rich fruits and vegetables and lean proteins — while the wound heals. He or she should drink plenty of water and eat high-<a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fiber.html/">fiber</a> foods like whole grains to avoid <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/constipation.html/">constipation</a>. (Constipation can be a side effect of pain medicine.)</p> <p>The wound might heal quickly, but scars can take longer. For thick scars, the doctor might recommend massaging the area with lotion or petroleum jelly. Doing this helps the collagen mingle with the elastin in the surrounding skin, decreasing some of the scarring.<strong><br /></strong></p> <h3>When Should I Call the Doctor?</h3> <p>If a deep or large wound gets infected, it can be a serious problem. <strong>Call your doctor or surgeon right away if:</strong></p> <ul class="kh_longline_list"> <li>Your child has a <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/fever.html/">fever</a> or swollen glands (or both).</li> <li>Your child has increased pain even with pain medicine, or the pain radiates out beyond the wound area.</li> <li>The area around the wound is getting more swollen.</li> <li>There's an expanding area of redness around the wound or red streaks on the skin around the wound.</li> <li>You see blood or pus draining from the wound.</li> <li>Your child has signs of <a href="https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/dehydration.html/">dehydration</a>, such as peeing less, dark pee, a dry mouth, or sunken eyes.</li> </ul> <p>The good news about wound healing is that young bodies heal faster.&nbsp;<span style="font-size: 1em;">Help your child take good care of the wound and follow the doctor's advice. Before long, the wound will be a distant memory.</span></p>Curación y cuidado de las heridasTodos los niños se hacen heridas o rozaduras que sus padres pueden tratar en casa. Pero, ¿qué pasa con las heridas más graves, como las que requieren puntos o ingresar en un hospital? https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/es/parents/wound-care-esp.html/ec701770-8403-48b0-828b-9b9673425745
AbscessAn abscess is a sign of an infection, usually on the skin. Find out what to do if your child develops one.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/abscess.html/f31fd7e9-3f18-41b3-9409-0075181f6ca4
CellulitisCellulitis is an infection of the skin and underlying tissues that can affect any area of the body. It begins in an area of broken skin, like a cut or scratch.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cellulitis.html/15292526-b2b5-46b8-ae79-391dbea116c7
Dealing With CutsFind out how to handle minor cuts at home - and when to get medical care for a more serious injury.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/bleeding.html/dd98d89c-e30e-4b99-8178-bb65cc8e9c3d
First Aid: Animal BitesAnimal bites and scratches that break the skin can cause infection. Rarely, animal bites can cause rabies, a dangerous, life-threatening disease.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/animal-bites-sheet.html/f4578512-854e-410b-90b8-52926a8846ea
First Aid: CutsMost cuts can be safely treated at home. But deeper cuts - or any wounds that won't stop bleeding - need emergency medical treatment.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/cuts-sheet.html/e612779f-fd61-449d-947f-c96066443829
Household Safety: Preventing CutsIt's important to protect kids from sharp and dangerous items around and outside the home. Here are ways to prevent cuts and other injuries.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/safety-cuts.html/5440ae02-1fbb-4adf-a8dd-522628e6973d
OsteomyelitisOsteomyelitis is a bone infection that can happen when germs enter an open wound. The easiest way to prevent it is to keep skin clean.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/osteomyelitis.html/ea509ed6-abdf-4da4-af4c-b6899530d898
Staph InfectionsWhen skin is punctured or broken for any reason, staph bacteria can enter the wound and cause an infection. But good hygiene can prevent many staph infections. Learn more.https://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/staphylococcus.html/eb617e21-017c-44ab-bc1e-dfa5f4e8cd05
kh:age-allAgesOrAgeAgnostickh:clinicalDesignation-dermatologykh:clinicalDesignation-generalPediatricskh:genre-articlekh:primaryClinicalDesignation-emergencyMedicineEmergencieshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/firstaid-safe/emergencies/114c34a9-860a-444c-849e-8c8666e0d2a2Medical Carehttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/growth/medical/58c81291-e7c3-497a-a68c-727ac2678718When Your Child Has Surgeryhttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/system/surgery/bf0ccfe3-e844-44b9-bf7e-d3e2a660e40aSkin Infections & Rasheshttps://kidshealth.org/ws/RadyChildrens/en/parents/infections/skin/5aeb606d-89ae-4a7c-b37c-880aee453419