- To prevent bleeding or oozing, the initial dressing should remain in place for 24 hours. If the dressing comes loose before then, re-tape it carefully. The dressing should be removed after 24 hours. Continue the wound care as described below, until the wound is completely healed.
- The treated area should be cleansed with mild soap and water both in the morning and night. Let the moisture loosen and/or remove any crusts (do not pull off any crusts). Then rinse gently and pat dry. The first day the wound may be tender, and may bleed slightly or seep a small amount of clear fluid.
- After cleansing, apply a thin layer of Petroleum ointment (Aquaphor Healing Ointment, petroleum jelly) over the wound. Cover the wound with a Tefla dressing or Band-Aid. The goal is to keep the wound moist with the petroleum ointment – you do not want thick scabs to form.
- A small amount of blood on the edges of the dressing the first few days is normal. If bleeding seems persistent and so is the dressing, apply firm, steady pressure over the dressing with gauze for fifteen minutes. This usually stops the bleeding. If bleeding persists, call your medical provider.
- Post-operative pain is usually minimal. If necessary, Tylenol usually relieves any pain you have (take 2 tablets every four hours).
- For wounds in certain areas (such as legs, arms) avoid physical exertion and activities that may stress the wound – thereby making the scar more cosmetically noticeable. If you are unsure about certain activities, ask your medical provider.
- After 24 hours, you may shower. However, do not let the forceful stream of the shower hit the wound directly. For at least 1-2 weeks, avoid swimming, or soaking in the bathtub.
- If the wound becomes increasingly red, warm, tender, opens up, drains a pus-like substance, or if you develop a fever or chills, call your medical provider immediately.
Source: DermPath and Dermatology
Consultants Kathleen J Smith MD, FAAD
WOUND CARE INSTRUCTIONS: Biopsy or Excision