Surviving Summer Unscarred: How To Prevent Dog Bite Scars and Bug Bite Scars
What do mosquito bites and dog bites have in common? The numbers of both kinds of bites increase during the summer months, right along with the rising temperature and more time spent outdoors. Dog bite scars, in particular, can be a constant reminder of an experience you’d rather forget, and scars from mosquito or other insect bites can be more than just an annoyance, they can diminish your confidence. If you’re ready to put these scars under cover, we’re here to help!
As always, be sure to consult a dermatologist or other medical professional about treating your scars, and follow their advice. Dog bites may need immediate medical care.
Dog Bites by the Numbers
If you’ve been the victim of a dog bite, you know the importance of preventing them all too well. Whether you’ve been left with an easily concealed bite mark or a noticeable scar on your face or neck, it can be difficult to move on from the emotional damage long after the physical pain is gone. The numbers show that you’re far from alone in your struggle — According to a 2015 study by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), there are more than 70 million dogs as pets in the U.S. and 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. Of these people, kids are by far the largest group of dog bite victims (accounting for at least half of the total number of bites), and they are more likely to end up with a serious injury than adults are. Not just in summer either — most dog bites to kids happen indoors or out, during normal activity or “play” with a familiar dog. These youngest victims can end up with a permanent scar as well as a lifelong fear of dogs.
Of course, not all dogs bite or willfully attack — in fact, the numbers show that most of them never bite people — but even a dog trying to be “playful” can unintentionally cause a deep scratch or break the skin and draw blood. Any bite that punctures the skin can cause a scar, and 20% of all dog bites require medical attention. Recent statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons show that over 29,000 reconstructive surgeries related to serious dog bites are performed each year, with the most common severe lacerations occurring on the face, which may result in infections, scars, damage to nerves and skin tissue and potentially even disfigurement.
- Dog Bite Scars: There are resources for dog owners looking to decrease the risk of their pet harming someone. If you own a dog, be sure to follow advice on dog bite prevention. The AVMA shares tips and hopes to raise awareness for the problem of dog bites by promoting National Dog Bite Prevention Week during the third full week of May each year.
- Mosquito Bite Scars: When possible, wear long sleeves and long pants when you are outside, keep citronella candles in your yard, and always use a chemical-free bug repellant to keep the bites away.
- Spider Bite Scars: Most spider bites leave a minor irritation for less than an hour, but some spiders inject venom when they bite you. Spiders like the widow spiders, recluse spiders and the scary sounding South American Wandering Spider can inject venom that can cause the necrosis of the surrounding skin. This type of bite is more likely to leave a bite scar. Prevention is similar for preventing other insect bites: protective clothing, pesticides and eliminate clutter from your living area.
Caring for Bite Wounds
- When a dog bite is severe enough to call for medical attention by an ER doctor, plastic surgeon, or other medical professional, the doctor will thoroughly clean the wound and then may suture it closed (which helps prevent wide or jagged scarring) or perform surgery if needed. Scar revision surgery may eventually be required to smooth out a significant scar.
- Bug bite scars, spider bite scars, and dog bite scars that don’t need surgery may respond well to scar treatments like dermal punch, dermabrasion, chemical peels, laser resurfacing, light therapy, dermal injections, silicone sheets or silicone gels – Scarology is a scar treatment kit that has been shown to reduce the appearance of scars wtih the use of an exfoliator to remove dead skin and silicone to improve moisture retention. Other scar fading products including those containing natural ingredients such as high-potency vitamin C and licorice. Read up on the details of how to conceal scars and the top scar treatments here.
- Whether or not a bite requires medical care, all bite wounds need careful cleaning to prevent infection. Inflammation caused by infection delays wound healing and can result in a more visible scar. Always keep the wound clean and covered to keep bacteria out.
- Bug bites — and especially mosquito bites — can cause unbearable itching, but don’t scratch! Try aloe vera to calm the itchiness right after the bite occurs, and throughout the healing process. Persistent itching may respond to Calamine lotion, ice, or oral antihistamines. Just like with acne blemishes, you must resist the urge to scratch or pick at the bites — it will only cause more damage to your skin tissue and lead to dark marks after they have healed.
Dermaflage — The “Second Skin” Way to Put Dog Bite Scars Under Cover
When you need to hide an indented scar, Dermaflage is a name you need to know. This innovative liquid silicone temporarily fills in recessed scars, including dog bite scars and insect bite scars like those left by mosquito bites, as well as other imperfections like acne scars, Once the liquid sets, the sunken areas appear “resurfaced” and level with the surrounding healthy skin. Dermaflage goes beyond traditional foundation and concealers by creating the look and feel of real skin with a texturizing pad that’s included in the Dermaflage Starter Kit. The result is featherweight full scar coverage that delivers up to 36 hours of waterproof, sweat-proof, budge-proof camouflage without the stress of constant touch-ups or reapplication. Suitable for facial scars or scars anywhere on the body, Dermaflage can help you live confidently all year long!
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen!
Scars of all types — including those from dog bites or insect bites — must be protected with sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every time they are exposed to the sun, even when it’s cloudy outside. UV rays can cause darkening of the scar and undo any progress you’ve made with fading it. Look for a physical sunblock suitable for sensitive skin, such as ScarScreen SPF 30 which was formulated specifically to protect scars from discoloration and prevent skin cancer.
Remember: Scar Prevention is the Best Way to Have A Scar-Free Summer!
Doing everything you can to keep the wound free from bacteria and speed up the healing process may help you end up with a smoother and less noticeable scar. But for best results, prevent bite scars by preventing the bites from happening in the first place! Keep our tips in mind when you or your children head outside this summer.