Patient Wound Care Instructions

Download as PDF


Glue-Steristrips Wound Care

Post-Operative Wound Care: for Glue-Steri-Strips

  1. Keep white bulky dressing dry and in place for 48 hours.
  2. Avoid alcoholic beverages for the first 48 hours.
  3. Use Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol as recommended for any pain/discomfort OR prescribed pain medication as directed by physician.
  4. After 48 hours, remove the white dressing but leave brownish steri-strips in place.
  5. Remove the steristips in 7 days. You may notice a thin film “peeling off” after the steri strips are removed. This is the medical grade glue. Do not peel off. Allow it come off naturally.
  6. You may shower but do not let the forceful stream of the shower hit the wound directly. Do NOT apply liquid or topical medications onto the wound, this can weaken the glue. You may shower and bathe the site gently; the site should not be scrubbed, soaked, or exposed to prolonged wetness until the glue has fallen off completely (5-10 days). You should also avoid swimming during this time.
  7. If bleeding should occur, apply CONSTANT pressure for 20 minutes.
  8. For uncontrolled bleeding or emergencies call our office at 602-248-9351

Granulation aka Healing Without Stitches

Post-Operative Wound Care: Granulation (Healing Without Stitches)

Keep the pressure dressing (white and bulky) dry for 48 hours. Remove the dressing 48 hours after your surgery. It is fairly common for the incision to ooze or bleed especially the first few hours after surgery. Excessive bleeding can be effectively controlled by applying firm direct pressure on the surgical site for 20 continuous minutes. If bleeding persists after holding pressure for 20 minutes twice, please call our office. You can expect to have black and blue bruising around the surgical wound and have mild swelling. The most severe swelling and bruising can occur up to 48 hours post procedure.

Once you have removed the pressure dressing, gently wipe off the ointment and cleanse the wound daily with soap and water. You may shower.

After cleaning, gently pat the wound dry and then apply a thin layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor (available in drug stores without a prescription) and cover with the appropriate size Band-aid or non-stick dressing (Telfa). Continue the cleaning, Vaseline or Aquaphor and Band-aid treatments once a day until your return visit. Do not let a scab form.

All wounds normally drain. The larger the wound, the more drainage. This should be kept moist with daily application of Vaseline or Aquaphor healing ointment and covered with an appropriate size Band Aid or non-stick dressing. The healing process may take several weeks or months depending on the wound size. Wound care is continued until it is healed.

For pain or discomfort, you may take Extra Strength Tylenol, unless you have a medical condition that does not allow you to take this medicine or unless it is otherwise advised by your primary care physician. Tylenol 500mg may be taken every 4-6 hours for pain or discomfort. (Do not take more than 6 Tylenol in a 24 hour period.) If other pain pills are prescribed, please follow the directions on the label.

You may have been given an Ace wrap if the surgery was performed on your arm(s) or leg(s). Wrap your arm or leg with the Ace wrap, but do not wrap it too tightly. Use the Ace wrap for one to two weeks following surgery during the day only. Remove the Ace wrap at night. The Ace wrap will increase the blood circulation to the area and help to minimize swelling. Keep your limb elevated whenever you are at rest (above the level of the heart). For the leg always begin the ace wrap at your instep and wrap just to below your knee.

In about 3-4 weeks, some patients may develop excessive granulation tissue (a mound of pink healing tissue) that slows the healing. If this should occur, please call the office and we will arrange a follow-up visit.

Should any unexpected circumstance require that you obtain more information or if you have any problems, such as unusual swelling, pain, bleeding, fever or drainage of the surgical site, please call our office.


Post-Operative Wound Care: Skin Graft after bolster dressing has been removed

  1. Keep dressing dry and in place for 24-48 hours
  2. After 24-48 hours begin DAILY wound care as follows:
    • GENTLY wash wound with soap and water
    • Do NOT let the shower water pound on the wound, this could shear off the skin graft
    • Pat dry and apply Vaseline or Aquaphore using a Q-tip 1-2 times per day for 14 days
    • Do NOT let the wound dry out or form a hard scab as it will result in the graft failure. If a scab forms, clean area with hydrogen peroxide solution
    • Cover with non-adherent/Telfa pad or Band-Aid
  3. If bleeding should occur, apply 20 minutes of CONSTANT PRESSURE.
  4. For uncontrolled bleeding or emergencies call our office

Post-Operative Wound Care: Skin Graft with Bolster Dressing

  1. Keep dressing DRY and in place until follow-up appointment.
  2. Avoid alcoholic beverage for the first 48 hours.
  3. Use Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol as recommended for discomfort or prescribed pain medication as directed by physician.
  4. When you return to the office to have bolster dressing removed, you will receive further instructions for continuing wound care.
  5. If bleeding should occur, apply 20 minutes of CONSTANT PRESSURE.
  6. For uncontrolled bleeding call our office.

Post-Operative Wound Care: Suture/Staple Wounds

  1. Keep white bulky dressing dry and in place for 48 hours.
  2. Avoid alcoholic beverages for the first 48 hours.
  3. Use Tylenol or Extra Strength Tylenol as recommended for any pain/discomfort OR prescribed pain medication as directed by physician.
  4. After 48 hours, remove the dressing. You may get wet in shower. Begin DAILY wound care as follows:
    • Cleanse wound with mild soap and water
    • Pat dry and apply Vaseline or Aquaphore ointment using Q-tip
    • Cover with non-adherent pad (Telfa) secured with paper tape or Band-Aid
    • DO NOT let the wound dry out or form a hard scab
    • Change dressing 1-2 times per day
  5. If bleeding should occur, apply CONSTANT pressure for 20 minutes.
  6. For uncontrolled bleeding or emergencies call our office number above

Post-Operative Wound Care: Xenograft (Porcine Graft)

Keep the pressure dressing (white and bulky) dry for 48 hours. Remove the dressing 48 hours after your surgery. It is fairly common for the incision to ooze or bleed especially the first few hours after surgery. Excessive bleeding can be effectively controlled by applying firm direct pressure on the surgical site for 20 continuous minutes. If bleeding persists after holding pressure for 20 minutes twice, please call our office. You can expect to have black and blue bruising around the surgical wound and have mild swelling. The most severe swelling and bruising can occur up to 48 hours post procedure.

Once you have removed the pressure dressing, gently wipe off the ointment and cleanse the wound daily with soap and water. You may shower.

After cleaning, gently pat the wound dry and then apply a thin layer of Vaseline or Aquaphor (available in drug stores without a prescription) and cover with the appropriate size Band-aid or non-stick dressing. Continue the cleaning, Vaseline or Aquaphor and Band-aid treatments once a day until your return visit. Do not let a scab form.

The graft is sutured into place with stitches that will dissolve. All wounds normally drain. The larger the wound, the more drainage. The Porcine Graft is a temporary covering to help promote healing and protect the wound. The porcine graft can turn a greenish, yellowish, grayish color as it starts to slough off. It will slough off in approximately 10-20 days. It is not uncommon to notice peeling or crusting of the graft during the first few weeks. This should be kept moist with daily application of Vaseline or Aquaphor healing ointment and covered with an appropriate size Band Aid or non-stick dressing. The healing process may take several weeks or months depending on the wound size. Wound care is continued until it is healed.

For pain or discomfort, you may take Extra Strength Tylenol, unless you have a medical condition that does not allow you to take this medicine or unless it is otherwise advised by your primary care physician. Tylenol 500 mg may be taken every 4-6 hours for pain or discomfort. (Do not take more than 6 Tylenol in a 24 hour period.) If other pain pills are prescribed, please follow the directions on the label.

You may have been given an Ace wrap if the surgery was performed on your arm(s) or leg(s). Wrap your arm or leg with the Ace wrap, but do not wrap it too tightly. Use the Ace wrap for one to two weeks following surgery during the day only. Remove the Ace wrap at night. The Ace wrap will increase the blood circulation to the area and help to minimize swelling. Keep your limb elevated whenever you are at rest (above the level of the heart). For the leg always begin the ace wrap at your instep and wrap just to below your knee.

Should any unexpected circumstance require that you obtain more information or if you have any problems, such as unusual swelling, pain, bleeding, fever or drainage of the surgical site, please call our office.


Vinegar Soaks

White vinegar soaks speed up wound healing and reduce post-procedural skin infections

  • Mix 1 cup of water with 1-2 Tablespoons of white vinegar
  • Soak gauze in a vinegar solution and squeeze excess water
  • Put vinegar soaked gauze on the wound for 5-10 min
  • Gently wipe the wound following the soak to remove any loose debris and crust
  • Apply Vaseline/white petrolatum/Aquaphor to the wound and cover with bandage
  • We recommend this to be done daily until wound heals or as instructed by your doctor

Our Phoenix Arizona dermatologists are available throughout AZ cities including Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Carefree, Cave Cree, Pardise Valley, Fountain Hills, Anthem and Surprise. Call us if you are looking for a skin cancer dermatologist in Arizona, acne treatment dermatologist in Arizona, Rosacea dermatologists in Arizona, wart removal treatment in Arizona, psoriasis treatment in Arizona, Vitiligo treatment in Arizona, eczema treatment in Arizona, skin infection treatment in Arizona, Arizona dermatologists who treat hair loss, eliminating wrinkles in Arizona, eliminating brown spots in Arizona, looking to find out how To get rid of broken blood vessels in Arizona, laser hair removal in Arizona, dermatology laser surgery in Arizona, Botox® injections in Arizona, Restylane® treatment in Arizona, tattoo removal in Arizona, Fraxel® treatments, BLU-U® Light treatments, dermoscopy, removal of acne scars or sclerotherapy treatment in Arizona.