Wound Closure Care

What is Wound Closure Care ?

The staples, stitches, or skin adhesives that were used to close your skin have been removed. You will need to continue the care described here until the wound is completely healed and your health care provider confirms that wound care can be stopped.

How do I care for my wound closure wound?

How you care for your wound after the wound closure has been removed depends on the kind of wound closure you had.

Stitches or Staples

  • Keep the wound site dry and clean. Do notsoak it in water.
  • If skin adhesive strips were applied after the staples were removed, they will begin to peel off in a few days. Allow them to remain in place until they fall off on their own.
  • If you still have a bandage (dressing), change it at least once a day or as directed by your health care provider. If the dressing sticks, pour warm, sterile water over it until it loosens and can be removed without pulling apart the wound edges. Pat the area dry with a soft, clean towel. Do notrub the wound because that may cause bleeding.
  • Apply cream or ointment that stops the growth of bacteria (antibacterial creamor antibacterial ointment) only if your health care provider has directed you to do so.
  • Place a nonstick bandage over the wound to prevent the dressing from sticking.
  • Cover the nonstick bandage with a new dressing as directed by your health care provider.
  • If the bandage becomes wet or dirty or it develops a bad smell, change it as soon as possible.
  • Take medicines only as directed by your health care provider.

Adhesive Strips or Glue

  • Adhesive strips and glue peel off on their own.
  • Leave adhesive strips and glue in place until they fall off.

Are there any bathing restrictions once my wound closure is removed?

Do nottake baths, swim, or use a hot tub until your health care provider approves.

How can I decrease the size of my scar?

How your scar heals and the size of your scar depend on many factors, such as your age, the type of scar you have, and genetic factors. The following may help decrease the size of your scar:

  • Sunscreen. Use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 15 when out in the sun. Reapply the sunscreen every two hours.
  • Friction massage. Once your wound is completely healed, you can gently massage the scarred area. This can decrease scar thickness.

When should I seek help?

Seek help if:

  • You have a fever.
  • You have chills.
  • You have drainage, redness, swelling, or pain at your wound.
  • There is a bad smell coming from your wound.
  • Your wound edges open up or do not stay closed after the wound closure has been removed.

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