Un-dent my daughter's face?
June 17, 2010 6:11 AM   Subscribe

My daughter's cheek bruise has turned into a dent/dimple. What's going on? Is it permanent? How to get her face back to normal?

About two weeks ago, my three-year-old daughter banged her face into a table. I believe it was the flat edge of the table, rather than a corner — she didn't have any broken skin, but she did have a bad bruise for about 10 days.

As the bruise cleared up, we noticed that she had a new dimple, right where the bruise had been. Massaging the spot with our fingers, we can feel a small fibrous lump in there (maybe the size of a Grape Nut?). I'm guessing that in hitting the table, some muscle fiber in her cheek detached or otherwise got pushed around, and that when her muscles tighten for a smile, they're pulling on her skin in a slightly different way than they had before?

I know that in the grand scheme of things, an extra dimple isn't the worst thing in the world, and if this is permanent, so be it. But I'm wondering what happened, how permanent this is, and so on. Is there anything we should do to help her face return to normal?

I've found a few mom-oriented message boards with this same question (1, 2), but without any answers or clarification.

Do any of you know what's going on here? YANMD, of course. Mostly just looking for clarification on what might have happened inside her face, stories of "this happened to us, and ______", etc. My daughter and I thank you.
posted by Alt F4 to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
I think a doctor would have the best answer to this. Have you taken her to the doctor?
posted by anniecat at 6:25 AM on June 17, 2010 [4 favorites]

Best answer: It's going to be permanent unless she gets plastic surgery to fix it. I accidentally spun one of my cousins off a merry-go-round when we were kids, and she had a terrible bruise that turned into a fairly deep dimple.

Since I didn't go to the appointment, I don't know *why* it made a permanent dip. I only found out that they said if she wanted to have it fixed, she'd need to wait until she was older, but that fixing it was definitely an option.
posted by headspace at 6:44 AM on June 17, 2010

Best answer: Disclaimer: definitely check with your doctor! Even just phone them up, if it's impractical/too expensive to take her in right now.

My "this happened to me, sort of" story -- last October I gave myself a truly epic black eye thanks to a surfboard and a rogue wave, and though I didn't have the dimple, I did feel a kind of lump under the skin for months afterwards. I checked with an acquaintance who's a physiotherapist, and she said that it was probably a mass of blood that hadn't drained away when the bruise healed. She suggested that I keep massaging the skin there, and it would eventually break up and drain away.

It took a few months, but the eye is fine now. A little sore if I press, but that could also be because I blacked it again in March. (Rugby, this time. Yes, I am talented at this sort of thing...)
posted by kalimac at 7:23 AM on June 17, 2010

Best answer: Definitely go to a doctor. If this happened recently (and she's anything like me when it comes to scars), the keloid might slowly keep growing for quite a while, even if the injury is minor and didn't break the skin. There are some things a dermatologist can do to minimize the appearance of scars, but the key here is intervening as early as possible.
posted by halogen at 7:27 AM on June 17, 2010

Best answer: Take her to the doctor. I fell while carting laundry in a metal cart over a year ago, and I still have a visible depression and a tangible lump in my shin. At this point, I'm pretty sure it's permanent. It doesn't bother me, but if it was something on my face or on my kid, I'd go to the doctor.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 7:44 AM on June 17, 2010

Best answer: I was spinning around when I was little and whacked my face on the corner of our coffee table. I don't remember what the immediate injury looked like, but I still have a small dimple in my cheekbone when I smile. This was almost 30 years ago, so I'm thinking it might be permanent.

I've always liked this little clumsy defect of mine, actually, but your daughter's mileage may vary depending on the location and size.
posted by awegz at 10:23 AM on June 17, 2010

Best answer: My brother hit me in the face with a brick (okay, really, I ran around a corner into a brick he was holding) and it created a dent in the center of my forehead. I really wanted it fixed for the longest time, but the doctors told me the best they could do was to turn it into a line type scar rather than a dent which didn't seem like enough of an improvement to be worth it. I never did have work done and now wrinkles have finally camouflaged the dent (although I can still feel it.)

This was 30 years ago, so I'm sure the doctors can do more now.
posted by vespabelle at 11:09 AM on June 17, 2010

Best answer: Sounds like subcutaneous scarring. Not much you can do about it.
posted by randomstriker at 11:48 AM on June 17, 2010

Best answer: I have a v-shaped dent in the corner of my forehead from walking into a clothesline nearly a decade ago. My daughter has a little blue spot on the bridge of her nose, right between her eyes, from when she faceplanted into my laptop desk at 3 months. Get thee to a doctor, but I'm betting permanent.
posted by geek anachronism at 2:08 PM on June 17, 2010

Response by poster: In case anyone is accessing this post down the road, a newer thread on the same topic is here: What should I name my leg dent?
posted by Alt F4 at 5:07 AM on September 26, 2010

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