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Caring for your child’s new skin following a burn injury

Next steps

Now your child has been discharged from the Burns Dressing Clinic it is important to understand a few points regarding your child’s healed skin

  • The skin can fragile for the first month following healing
  • The skin can remain red for up to 6 months following injury and can appear more red The skin may become more red when your child is distressed or when exercising (due to increased blood flow).
  • Moisturising and massage is essential to hydrate your child’s skin (especially when dry). Please complete this 3-4 times daily
  • Pigment can take longer to change therefore the skin may be lighter or darker in appearance and sun care protection is essential

Moisturising and massage

A plain, non-perfumed moisturising cream should be used. These can include: Aveeno, E45, Diprobase, Nivea, Cocoa Butter or Epiderm

Initially you should apply light pressure on the newly healed skin as it may be fragile however this should be increased so that when massaging you are applying enough pressure so that the tissues underneath becomes paler.

Please complete across the whole affected area in a circular motion for at least a few minutes depending on the size of your child’s newly healed skin.

To prevent a build-up of cream and blocked pores (which can occasionally cause spots) it is important to ensure all cream is absorbed into the skin; dab off any excess after massage.

Itch

Increased itching is common for your child’s newly healed skin. It is very important that you don’t scratch as this may cause the skin to break.  

To ease the itch it may be helpful to:

  • Keep moisturising cream in the fridge
  • Bathe in cool (not cold) water
  • Wear cotton clothes and sleep under cotton bed sheets.

If these do not help, Children over the age of 1yrs can take over the counter chlorphenamine (Piriton©). Please follow instructions on packet and speak to Pharmacist about dosage.

Skin sensitivity

It is common for the affected area to be sensitive. To help with this you can:

  • Perform regular massage
  • Use different textures on the skin to get the new skin used to normal touch/textures (e.g. towels and cotton wool)
  • Return to normal play and movement

Sun care

Your child’s newly healed skin doe s not have the same protection against the sun as it did previously and therefore is at very high risk of burning in the sun.

It is therefore important that appropriate sun care is carried out anytime your child is outside (e.g. factor 50 sun cream or covering the area).

Scarring

In the unlikely event of the area showing signs as listed below; please contact our Scar Therapy Department:

  • Increase in height
  • Increase in size
  • Increase in firmness
  • Increase in colour and itch
  • Difficulty using the affected limb or generally struggling with normal play

Role of Scar Therapy

To help the scar flatten and stay mobile we are able to advise regarding the use of scar therapy techniques. These may include:

  • Positioning/ Exercises and stretches
  • Play
  • Splints
  • Scar massage
  • Pressure garments (provided by therapies if required)
  • Silicon

If you have questions about the information contained in this leaflet please don’t hesitate to contact our Burns Therapy Department either by telephone or email.

Please be aware that although you have been discharged from the Burns Dressing Clinic you can still contact Scar Therapy to discuss any concerns (within 1 year of your child’s burn injury).

Contact information

Burns and Plastics Therapy
Therapy Department
369 Fulham Road
London
SW10 9NH

T: 020 3315 5680

Or you can email .

Please send the child’s name/ date of birth with updated photos and your question.

Paediatric Burns Psychology Service

If you are concerned about the psychological or behavioural impact of your child’s burn injury on them, on yourselves as parents, or on any member of your family, please contact our specialist burns psychology service.  

Our psychology team are able to offer support and advice on burn injury related concerns on:

Monday to Friday 9am–5pm

T: 020 3315 2504

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