23 answers

Cuts on Face and Gums

my five year old SD did a facedive into some concrete over the weekend with her mother, and has a lot of abrasions on her face and in her mouth. we took her to the ER when it happened and she didn't need stitches or have any fractures, but she's got some soft tissue damage in her face and a lot of brush burns. the doc's recommendations were to give tylenol and keep her face clean and let it heal. i've been putting neosporin on her face once a day but keeping bandages off it, and it's gotten pretty gooey and has yet to scab over. what's the best way to heal large scrapes on faces? keep up with the ointment, or let it scab over? also, does anyone have any experience with gum damage and the best way to keep that from getting infected, since brushing her teeth is very painful at the moment? thanks!

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Blot Betadine on her face with gauze. Let it air dry. This will help it scab and keeps the germies out.
Do not let it get gooey because an infection could start.
Do not pick the scabs because it will cause scarring. Let it
heal on its own.

More Answers

I'm not knowledgable about the healing part. However, once you are through that part, use Mederma ointment to reduce the scarring. You put it on once or twice a day for a few weeks. It seems like a long thing to do but the scarring should be diminished. My daughter had surgery when she was 18 months old and the surgeon suggested we use that to reduce the scarring. We have nothing to compare it to so it is hard to say how much it helped, but her scarring is very minimal.

Good luck. I hope it heals well.
p.s. We still rinse with salt water when ever there is a sore in the mouth. I think that is best. Also, I think the neosporin spray would be better than the ointment because it is a thinner coating (thus maybe helping the scab to form) and it doesn't require touching the wound. I think it is important to let the scab form so it can keep the bacteria and germs out and let the healing begin beneath it.

1 mom found this helpful

Everyone has given you great advice for the cuts on the face,but one thing I'd like to add is, once it starts to heal get some Vitamin E gel capsules and squeeze some on the healing areas. This really helps with bringing the color back as well. It will take some time for the wounds or scars to fully disappear so keep reminding her how beautiful she is. My daughter had a nasty fall on her face last year and it took about 8 months for the color to come back and the scar to disappear.

As for the gums, have her to swish a cap full of Peroxide in her mouth at least twice a day, but at this point since it's fresh have her do it after every meal as well to assure no food is stuck in the wounds.

Good luck, I hope you share some of these tips with the Mom as well to reassure a good friendship.

1 mom found this helpful

she can try rinsing w/ peroxide diluted in warm water if needed. warm her it might bubble a bit. i know when you rinse w/ it straight it tends to foam and gag me, lol.
as for her face i'd let it start to scab. once a scab has formed you can apply a tiny bit of ointment to keep the scab from drying up too too much and getting itchy. and also so that she doesnt pick at it to leave a scar.

It sound painful. I would keep putting the neosporin on to try to minimize the scarring. Hopefully the scarring isn't goint to be too bad. They do have maderma for kids that you can start to put on once it starts heeling. As far as her gums, I would have her rinse her mouth with warm salt water a few times a day. If any procedures need to be done make sure you request a plastic surgeon since a girl's appearence is important and she could be self conscious-that was advice from my uncle (a doctor) when my daughter busted her lip really bad. Good luck

Hello S., back in the day, we used to use warm water mixed with salt for our gums. Every day we would use this mixture, put it in our mouth; swish it around; hold it in our mouth then release it out in the sink. After doing it for awhile, the gums would get stronger. As far as the scrapes, I dipped a Q-tip in peroxide and put it on my son's face. That removed the scabs but yet healed the scar. But I cleaned the area every day until it looked better and began healing better.

Blot Betadine on her face with gauze. Let it air dry. This will help it scab and keeps the germies out.
Do not let it get gooey because an infection could start.
Do not pick the scabs because it will cause scarring. Let it
heal on its own.

I have always let it scab over. As long as it is clean then you are fine. Once the scab is dried it is the bodies way of keeping the germs out.

Don't mess with it too much - you don't want to crack them back open.

As far as the gums - maybe there is some kind of kid safe mouthwash you could use in the interim to keep down the germs and let it all heal - or just brush with a finger in the interim (it is a lot softer then a toothbrush and she will still get some cleaning from it).

Good luck! I am sure this will give her one heck of a story to tell her kids when she grows up!

Neosporin is fine for the face, just make sure to let it breath, that's what's really important, so no bandages (except to sleep if when she sleeps she reopens the scabs, if they don't bleed over night, no need to wrap them). As far as the gums, when my son had a fall like this they told us to use a dilute mouthwash (make sure it's like ProCare or Scope, nothing that normally burns!!, but he was very young, so I'm guessing mouthwash doesn't need to be diluted for a 5 yr old. Also, you can wipe the teeth with a warm washcloth, don't rub back and forth, it will irritate the gums until she can brush again.

I am so sorry this has happened. Have you talked with her regular doctor and dentist. They may have some ideas for you. Also, my doctor has given me a ointment called Mupirocin. He uses it on everyone in his family for all type of scrapes and cuts. It is by prescription only, so ask your doctor about it. If her gums are too damaged, my daughter get canker sores all the time and we put orajel on them and that numbs them for her to eat and brush her teeth.I wish I could help more. Good Luck

the new thought in wound care, even abrasions, is that keeping them moist allows them to heal better. the notion of letting them 'dry out' does not actually help. i will include some references:

I. general info on wound car (warning gross pictures):


II. From a sports medicine site: 'The dressing should be changed every few days. Keep the wound moist until it has healed. A moist environment promotes healing, improves tissue formation and protects the area from infection.'


When my daughter was an infant, she had a jaw distraction surgery (for lengthening her jaw to help clear her airway) that involved six titanium pins sticking out of her face, hence six wounds. We were instructed by her plastic surgeon to clean the wounds twice daily with q-tip dipped in a diluted peroxide solution (water was the other part). As another mom posted, this kept the scabs from getting too bulky, but it also allowed the skin to dry and heal. We used a gentle touch with the peroxide solution so as never to start fresh bleeding from the wounds. We were told not to apply any sort of ointment until the wounds had closed. After the wounds had completely closed, we gently massaged baby lotion onto the scars morning and night for several months to help keep the scar tissue soft, as our P.S. instructed. These were significant wounds, deep (from inside mouth to outside of skin) and almost an inch long in some cases. That said, she is now two years old, and though I can find the scars, no one else can unless he or she knows where to look. Maybe we will try Mederma in the future, too, but at the time, she was too young for it.

In your SD's case, I would, as many other moms suggest, check with her pediatrician. As for her mouth, I agree that baking soda or salt water rinses seem reasonable. You may also want to have her swish a children's fluoride rinse once or twice a day. I would urge you to still have a chat with her normal dentist, though. When my daughter was hit really hard by a boy at playgroup, she incurred bruising and a little abrasion above her front two teeth. The dentist said her teeth looked fine at the time but that we would have to watch them over the next several months, as it can take a long time for trauma to catch up to a tooth.

Best wishes with this. I hope the little lady gets to feeling a lot better soon.

My 2yo had a similar facial injury. her pediatrician said to stay away from the scar treatments such as regenisis and mederma. They haven't been out long enough to be proven and known safe for children. Instead, we used the good old fashion bucket of cocoa butter, which is non toxic, in case of accidental licking or swallowing, and if used faithfully, the scarring is extremely minimal, if not non existant (as in our case, I see it because I know its there, but when I point it out to anyone, they say they never even noticed it.) it is also water repellant to keep the wound in "heal" mode while water playing in the summer especially!

My 5 year old son had a similar experience riding his bike and face planting on a concrete patio. Every night and every morning, we would clean it with hydrogen peroxide (just gently laid a gauze pad soaked with it against his skin.) We then applied a prescription topical cream to the abrasion. I can't recall what it was called, but I'm sure your pediatrician can recommend one. I was amazed at how quickly it healed!! And it healed beautifully- no scarring at all- I couldn't believe it. Make sure she doesn't pick at it!
The other very important thing is to keep it out of the sun!! Buy her a cute hat to shade it. Once it is healed, you MUST put sunblock on the area. As new skin comes in, it can take on a different appearance if it becomes sun damaged. This was the overwhelming advice from our pediatrician!

My son had a similar accident with the pavement while walking our dog the day before his first day at Kindergarten. He had a huge scrape from his forehead to his chin and area over his lip that looked like he bit through. We took him to the ER because we thought he bit through his upper lip and need stitches - thank God he didn't. The doctor to us not to use hydrogen peroxide (sp?) that is not effect any more on cuts like when we were growing up - it just cause it to burn and be painful for the patient. He recommend keeping it moist with a triple antibotic cream like neosporin. The ER doctor gave use gauze and something called "bacitracin ointment" which is very similar to neosporin. This was over 2 years ago and if I remember correctly it took a while for it to heal - close to a month. But by keeping it moist and not letting it scab over he has no scar on his face. If it scabs over I think it will cause it to scar. We did not do anything about putting any medicine in the mouth - he was just very careful what he ate.

If you are unsure of the treatment - take her back to the doctor since you weren't present the first time. Never hurts to get a second opinion.

My daughter cut her face up prety good when she was 10 by sledding face first into the side of a tree. We allowed it to scab over and then began applying neosporin to it and she does not have any scars from it. The important thing is once it scabs over do not let her pick at or scratch the scabs and that should avoid scarring. Your dentist should be able to recommend something for gum damage - I know neosporin makes prescription medicine that can be used on the eyes and I think they make something for the mouth - but you need a prescription for it.

Hope this helps.

Let it scab over. The neosporin stops helping after a couple of days and hinders the natural healing process.

Keeping the face clean is imperative. It would not be a bad thing to let it scab, but I highly recommend that you go to www.firstfitness.com/newyou02 and go to the personal care link.

From there the product called "Regenisis Wrinkle, Stretch Mark and Cellulite Creme" is the best by far. It is actually wonderful for accelerated healing and to help there be little or no scar

For the gums. You can go to Zavita.com/farrell and order it. The botanicals in that are wonderful for healing mouth sours, as well as amazing health benefits. Once you hear what it will do you will want your whole family to enjoy it. Your child could swish it in his mouth and then swallow. It, too, will speed healing.

Be blessed,

The nesporin ointment may keep scabs from forming. Liquid bactine kills germs without stinging. I would apply it once a day then the sores will scab and heal. I hope your five year old is being brave about this. I would reward her bravery with lots of fun activities to help keep her mind off her pain. AF

rinse her mouth several times a day with slat water. Just make up some and keep it in the fridge. The dentist should be able to tell you the right ratio of salt to water. I think it's two tablespooons to a quart? It will make it feel better and it will heal faster.

As for the wounds on her face, I'd use Neosporin for the first couple of days and then make sure the cuts are clean and see if they'll scab. If they do then you can leave them alone. I haven't tried the Maderma yet, but if my kid cut herself that badly, I'd be checking it out!

-S. Kav

Use the Mederma. My niece had a large face injury and it is not noticable now it is healed. As for scabbing I thought scabs create bigger scars because the skin heals in a bunch instead of by layer if kept moist.

We had somewhat of a similar situation with our 3 year old situation recently where she had an incident with a treadmill and we ended up in the ER. They gave us different advice the our pediatrician so I would call yours. But we kept it moist, letting it scab over made daughters skin so tight and painful and it was at that point turning almost into a burn. It took a bit longer to heal but in the long run her skin healed and looked much better. As for the gums, our doctor suggested just rinsing with baking soda it does not have the stinging effect or yucky taste and has the same effect as toothpaste. Best of luck

Hi S.!
First off let me tell you I'm the Queen of clutz. Anyway, about a year ago I was playing w/the dog. Long story short I jump up on the landing of the porch & landed face first on the cement four steps down. I hit hard enough the the post earrings in my ears came out the wrong way. Neosporin is good when it first happens, but it needs to dry out. you'll see the edges start to peel after a while, then you can put a little neosporin on it so it doesn't itch to much. It worked for me, & I don't have any scars either.
Good luck!!

Please contact your pediatrician for more advice. The ER doctor should have answered these questions, which are good ones. My daughter got a "concrete burn" on her cheek (nowhere near as much as your stepdaughter, though) after a fall. I kept neosporin on it too--not too much--and it never did scab over; it eventually just faded. There is also a product called Mederma for Kids that deals with scars BUT it says it's for after the abrasions have healed so you don't want to put it on the scrapes. Also, you have to use Mederma for a long time--weeks and weeks. I did use it and it helped some, I think. I would definitely talk to her doctor ASAP. Also, have her dentist check her out. Likely she could brush gently but also slosh and rinse well with something non-burning (not Listerine!) like a solution of baking soda and a little salt if she can take it. Good luck. Her young skin will take care of most of this but this is what those doctors and dentists are for! You're taking great care of her!!

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