If you've decided that it's time to have your child's port wine stain removed, you'll need to make sure you're prepared for the recovery. This is particularly important if your child is too young to care for their own recovery. Most port wine stains can be removed as an outpatient procedure, which means your child won't need to be hospitalized. However, you'll still need to take special precautions to make sure the wound heals properly. Here are four important steps you should take to help your child have a safe and comfortable recovery.
Keep the Wound Clean
Once your child has laser treatment to remove port wine stains, you'll need to keep the wound clean while it's healing. After the bandages have been removed, you'll want to clean the area with fresh, lukewarm water. Do not use soap until the wound has healed completely. Soap a sponge or cloth in lukewarm water and then squeeze the water over the wound. Pat the area dry with a soft lint-free cloth, and then allow the wound to air dry. Be sure to do this at least twice a day to keep the wound clean, and promote healthy healing.
Avoid the Sun During Recovery
Laser surgery is an effective way to remove port wine stains. However, during the procedure, several layers of tissue will be removed using the laser. This will leave the tissue susceptible to sun damage. To prevent damage to your child's delicate skin, it's important that they avoid sun exposure until the area has completely healed. Once the skin has healed, you'll need to apply sunscreen on the area whenever your child goes outside. This will help prevent skin discoloration, and tissue damage.
As the wound heals, the skin will begin feel dry. You may notice that your child's skin appears to be cracking, as if it were chapped. To prevent dry, uncomfortable skin, be sure to apply moisturizer on your child at least once a day. If your child is old enough to apply their own moisturizer, have them take a tube of lotion to school. This will allow them to apply moisturizer whenever their skin starts feeling dry and uncomfortable.
Know the Warning Signs
While your child's wound is healing, keep an eye out for signs of infection. If you should see signs of infection, or notice anything unusual about the wound, be sure to contact your child's doctor as soon as possible. Some of the signs you should watch for include, excessive bleeding, increased pain at the wound site, or foul odors from the wound.
Contact a medical center, like Shriners Hospitals for Children – Cincinnati, for more help.