May 28, 2024

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COVID-19 survivors have facial scars

The scars on the face are a visual reminder of COVID-19 from previous patients

While entering the intensive care unit, COVID-19 patients are often laid on their stomach, with the potential for pressure sores to develop. Unfortunately, previous patients also had facial scars as a possible consequence. These scars are often a traumatic reminder of a stressful period of being seriously ill. Plastic surgeons find this to happen more often. They can help patients with appropriate treatment to prevent or reduce scarring.

Scars from a prone position
A patient with COVID-19 may experience a sudden inflammatory response in the lungs. Patients sometimes need artificial ventilation and are placed regularly on their stomach. As a result of this prone position, the patient can quickly develop pressure sores. The skin becomes weaker than usual during the illness. On the face, spots along the jawbone and cheekbones are very sensitive. Unfortunately, scars are a possible consequence of this.

annoying souvenir
The scars on the face are a visual reminder of the COVID-19 disease of previous patients. The impact of the epidemic on them can be seen literally. Doctor. Rutger Schols, plastic surgeon at Maastricht UMC+: “The aftercare for everyone treated in the ICU for severe COVID-19 deserves attention for many aspects of physical and mental recovery. These people have crawled through the eye of the needle. And this has an impact on both the body And mind, even after the patient is out of danger. The scars on the face seem like a small thing, but it doesn’t have to be that way.”

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If the patient is still in the hospital or rehabilitation center, the patient may be referred internally to a plastic surgeon. Patients who are already at home can contact their GP for a referral to the plastic surgery outpatient clinic. The treatment for these facial scars can vary depending on the scar. In some cases, the patient can actually be helped with the cream. Other patients were helped with a special silicone plaster. Combining treatment with injectable medications can also significantly reduce scarring. In addition, a specially made “pressure mask” is one of the treatment options.

Ernst’s story:
Ernst (57) contracted the COVID virus last year. So he has been sleeping for more than 38 days. The following is a long recovery. Priority in strengthening, learning to walk and moving again, and return of lung function to a standard level. However, Ernst still remembers well that at that time he had scales on his face: above his eyebrow, on his cheek and chin. Eventually he got a scar on his chin. The specialist indicated to him that a plastic surgeon can help him in this. Ernst is pleased that the doctors were able to relieve him of this: “I am very grateful to the intensive doctor who indicated a possible treatment for my scar during my recovery. Of course my priority was to strengthen my lungs, but it is good that the doctor also takes care of other things that contribute to my recovery at such a time. The scars have now been treated with repeat medical injections. Now my scars have reduced significantly and I am very happy with it.”

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Name of author and/or editor by: Maastricht UMC +
Photographer or photographic agency: INGImages
The source of this article: Maastricht UMC +
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original title: The result of being underestimated: COVID-19 survivors have facial scars
the target audience: Healthcare professionals
Date: 2022-01-19