When your skin is injured — whether it occurs by accident or due to a surgery — your body begins immediately working to repair the wound. As your skin heals, you need to take certain steps to keep your wound clean and the tissue healthy.
Here are some tips on wound care:
- Cleaning: After a doctor or nurse has dressed your wound, you should generally leave the bandage in place for 24 hours. When you remove the bandage, clean the area gently with a mild soap and water. Pat the area dry and apply a layer of ointment — such as Vaseline or Aquaphor — and re-bandage the area. Repeat this procedure every 24 hours until you have your sutures removed (if applicable).
- Moisture: Keep your wound moist by applying ointment after each cleaning. Proper moisture is necessary for scabbing and healing.
- Activity: If possible, try not to move the area of the wound for about three weeks after the injury or incision occurs. After this time period, begin slowly using the area again.
- Bleeding: Sometimes, healing wounds bleed. If your wound starts to bleed, apply pressure to the area for 10 minutes and then check for bleeding. If your wound is still bleeding after this time, call your doctor. If your wound starts bleeding profusely at any time, please call your doctor immediately.
- Infection: A little redness around your wound is normal during the healing process. However, if your surrounding skin becomes increasingly red, swollen, hot, and painful, it may be infected. If this happens, call us immediately to begin antibiotic treatment.
- Suture removal: Some wounds require sutures to close them effectively. Depending on the type of sutures you have, they may need to be removed at a later time.
If you receive specific directions from your University of Miami Health System dermatologist that conflict with any of these guidelines, please follow the directions from your doctor. They have been developed for your specific situation and wound.
Why Choose UHealth?
World-class leaders in skin care treatment. University of Miami Health System is recognized throughout South Florida and the world as a leader in caring for conditions and disorders of the skin. Backed by one of the nation’s top universities, our team uses the latest technologies and research-driven expertise to provide superior, personalized treatments for wound care.
Compassionate care in an academic medical center. Regardless of your age, condition, or whether you need long-term, short-term, or regenerative skin treatments, you will benefit from the state-of-the-art technology and latest medical advancements developed by our researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. You will receive the most accurate diagnosis and a detailed plan to keep your skin, hair, and nails healthy.
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