Though many dogs make excellent companions, some animals are unpredictable and dangerous. If a dog attacks you, you may sustain a variety of injuries, ranging from broken bones to psychological trauma. Even after your wounds heal, you may have physical scars that last a lifetime.
Scarring occurs during the healing process when fibrous tissue forms at or near the wound site. Because scarred skin often looks and feels different than normal skin, it may make you feel self-conscious. Even worse, scarred skin may be susceptible to irritation and additional injury. If a dog bites you, the following three steps can lower your risk of developing a scar:
- Get emergency medical treatment
Dog bites can lead to infection and other serious complications. Therefore, it is critical for you to seek emergency medical treatment after any animal attack. Emergency physicians can assess your injuries and recommend a treatment plan. With appropriate, prompt treatment, your scarring may be minor.
- Follow a treatment plan
When you visit the doctor for a dog bite, you should discuss your medical history and explain how the attack happened. This information helps medical professionals diagnose and treat you. To boost your odds of recovering completely, it is important to follow the treatment plan to the letter. If you notice signs of infection or other bite complications, you should return to the doctor immediately for follow-up care.
- Find a specialist
Emergency room physicians are good at triaging wounds and providing immediate care. They typically do not have much experience with reconstructive procedures, however. Accordingly, if you are at risk of developing a painful or unsightly scar, you can consult with a plastic surgeon or another specialist. Likewise, if you are suffering emotional trauma from the attack, pursuing psychological therapy may help you recover from mental scars.
Though dog bites can be severe, an animal attack usually does not last long. Because the scars you develop after the attack may last a lifetime, however, you need a comprehensive strategy for lowering your scar risk.