Wound/Incision Care

It is often best to leave the wounds open—especially at night. Occlusive dressings can often promote the ideal environment for bacterial or fungal overgrowth. Take any antibiotics prescribed to you until gone.

For wounds closed with Dermabond (tissue glue), just let them be. You may shower and bath and just sponge the wound dry. The glue will just slowly “grow” off.

For wounds closed with stitches or suture, purchase a box of Q-tips and a bottle of Hydrogen peroxide. Purchase some Polysporin ointment (Antibiotic ointments with Neomycin can often react with wounds). Clean the wound gently 3 times per day with the Q-tips and Peroxide. Following this apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment. You may discontinue the antibiotic ointment after several days. If you have stitches make arrangements to have them removed in 5-7 days. Leaving the sutures in for longer can produce a permanent stitch mark on delicate facial tissues.

Always protect the wound from sun exposure. This is important for more than a year. Healing and remodeling tissues pigment differently than the surrounding tissues and make scars more noticeable.

Take a multivitamin daily. Adequate levels of vitamin C and E may be especially important. Vitamin A is helpful if you are on systemic steroids. If you are a diabetic, tight control of your blood sugars is paramount.

The scar will continue a proliferative (building and strengthening) phase for up to 5 weeks. After that it begins a contraction or remodeling phase that lasts up to a year. During this time the redness and firmness of the scar slowly lessens. This is why we do not recommend scar revisions for quite some time. This remodeling phase can be helped along by daily gentle massage of the scar.

The biggest cause of poor healing is infection. Signs and symptoms of infection are localized redness, swelling, increasing tenderness, drainage, and heat. Systemic symptoms such as fever, fatigue, and muscle aches can also be present. If you suspect any problems please do not hesitate to call or be seen.

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