Plastic Surgeon Questions Burns

My daughter is 4 years old and has burnt her hand by dropping hot water. Is skin grafting recommended for her considering age?

My daughter accidentally dropped hot boiling water on her hand. She is just 4 years old. The burn is quite minor but I am concerned about long term repercussions because of her age. Is skin grafting recommended for her considering her age?

10 Answers

This would depend on the extent of the burn. If it is first or second degree, it should heal uneventfully with dressing changes. If deeper, it may require a skin graft. This could be determined at pathetic time of a physical examination. Please call my office to schedule a consultation.
Roger Friedman, MD
Skin grafting is only for deep or full thickness skin loss.

William A. Stefani, MD
I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's burn injury. Burns can be of different depth and the depth will dictate the need for skin grafting. For deep 2nd degree and 3rd degree burns, skin grafting is needed and will be done even for small children. More superficial burns can be treated with topical ointments to prevent infection. Sometimes deeper burns, if small in size, can also be managed with topical application of specialized biological barriers to help them heal. I hope your daughter recovers well.


Olga Bachilo, MD
Ask a burn doctor

Most boiling water burns are second-degree burns. If the burn heals in less than 2-3 weeks, it should not leave any significant scar. Most hot water burns do not require skin grafting. If it does not heal in 3 weeks, though, you may need to take her to a burn specialist.
Thank you for the question.
If the burn is recent and there is an open wound, then surely a skin graft would be beneficial. If this is an older burn and there is a functional problem with movement of the fingers, then a contracture release with possible skin graft may help.
Hope this helps.

Hugo St-Hilaire, MD, DDS, FACS
Thank you for the question.
If it is minor, it should heal just with wound care. If the burn is deeper with signs of compromised skin viability, a full thickness skin graft maybe appropriate. In chronic cases, if there is a decreased range of motion of the hand, then there is an indication for a skin graft. Most likely, the only care your son will need is wound care with creams like Vaseline.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions.

All the best,
Dr. George M. Varkarakis, M.D.
Most hot water burns are second degree and dont require a skin graft. A few do require it but your daughter needs to be seen by a Plastic Surgeon to determine if she needs a skin graft or not.
I am a fellowship trained hand surgeon with my residency training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. I ask that you seek consult from a board certified plastic surgeon who can help evaluate the burn injury your daughter sustained and suggest what may be possible.
Shin grafting is not generally for scar improvement, but for wound healing, there may be other procedures to help improve the appearance of the hand.