Wound Care


Verbal and written wound care instructions are given after every procedure at our office.
For your convenience, we are also posting the instructions here. 

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For minor procedures performed by one of our nurse practitioners or by Dr. Skinner:


Post-Procedure Wound Care

Mild pain, burning or throbbing after a procedure is normal. This usually disappears within 48 hours, but may last longer in some individuals. Tylenol or Advil should relieve the pain. If it does not, call our office. 

Redness and swelling are normal during healing. Applying an ice pack or frozen vegetables wrapped in a clean dry cloth to site for 10-15 minutes every 1-2 hours during the first 48 hours will help with swelling.

Do NOT pick at the wound, as this may worsen scarring. 

Cryosurgery – A blister (water or blood) may form. If it is painful or enlarging, then it is ok to poke a hole in it with a needle (after sterilizing the needle in a flame and then allowing it to cool). Do NOT unroof the blister. If it fills up again, simply drain it as often as necessary. Once a crust or scab has formed, clean the area twice a day with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, apply Polysporin antibiotic ointment, and cover with a band-aid. 

Biopsy – If a band-aid was placed it is ok to remove the same day or leave it on until the next morning. This area can get wet in the shower/bath. Clean area once a day with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, apply Polysporin antibiotic ointment, and cover with a band-aid until healed. If stitches were placed, return in 7-10 days for suture removal. 
Results: You will be notified of your biopsy results approximately 2 weeks after the procedure. 

 

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For surgical procedures such as excisions or Mohs surgery performed by Dr. Skinner:


Surgical Wound Care

Days 1 and 2:

BANDAGE– Leave the pressure bandage on for at least 48 hours after surgery. Keep the bandage DRY. 

PAIN– Mild to moderate pain, throbbing, or burning is normal. Taking acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil) should help relieve pain. If prescription pain medication was given, take as directed WITH FOOD, as needed. 

ICE– Apply an ice pack or frozen vegetables wrapped in a clean dry cloth to surgical site and surrounding area for 10-15 minutes every 1-2 hours during the first 48 hours after surgery. 

ELEVATION– Keep surgical site elevated as much as possible during the first 48 hours after surgery. 
        For Example: If surgery site is on your face/head, keep head elevated while sleeping. 
        If surgery site is on a leg, keep leg elevated throughout the day as much as possible. 

ACTIVITY– No bending, strenuous activity, or lifting more than 5 pounds for the first 48 hours after surgery.



Days 3 – 7:

BANDAGE– After 2 days, it is ok to gently remove the pressure bandage. Clean the area gently with hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, apply Polysporin antibiotic ointment, and cover with a light bandage or band-aids. Repeat once daily for the first week.            

  • If you are inside your home and not around dirt or dust, and the area is not bleeding, it is ok to leave uncovered during the day. Clean and cover area (as above) before going out and at night before going to bed.
     
  • If a graft was placed, it will turn different colors (like a bruise) as it heals. Be very gentle when cleaning and applying antibiotic ointment to grafts. Do NOT RUB – pat to clean area. Keep area covered with a light bandage or band-aids AT ALL TIMES for 1 week. 


STITCHES– You can apply a waterproof bandage (Tegaderm or Clean Seal) over stitches before showering.

  • If dissolvable stitches were used, keep stitches DRY from water for 1 week. 
    (Stitches will usually dissolve within 2 weeks; you can have them removed after 1 week if they become bothersome.)
     
  • If other stitches were used, return to clinic for suture removal in 7-10 days. Keep stitches DRY from water until they are removed. 


ACTIVITY– No exercising, running, lifting more than 10 pounds, or other strenuous activity for 2 weeks.

Do NOT pick at the wound, as this may worsen scarring.

Redness & swelling are normal after surgery. Following the above instructions will help to reduce complications. 

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BLEEDING– If bleeding through the bandage occurs, apply DIRECT PRESSURE for at least 10 minutes. If bleeding persists, wrap ice cubes in a clean towel and apply DIRECT PRESSURE for an additional 10 minutes. If bleeding still persists, call our office. If it is after hours or on weekends, call Cullman Regional Medical Center at (256) 737-2000 and have Dr. Skinner paged. 

SIGNS OF INFECTION– While surgical wound infections are rare, it is important to watch for signs of infection. If pus is seen in the wound, a foul smell is coming from woundpain increases, redness extends more than ½ inch from the wound, red streaks develop around area, or you have fever or chills, call our office. If it is after hours or on weekends, call Cullman Regional Medical Center at (256) 737-2000 and have Dr. Skinner paged. 

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