Suture Care Instructions
- If your sutures were covered with a bandage, continue it for 24-48 hours.
- Keep your sutures dry and clean during the first 24-48 hours.
- Try not to bump or hit the suture area on anything that can open the wound.
- Do not trim or shorten the ends of your sutures.
- Do not submerge the wound for 10-14 days in dirty water (pools, hot tub, dishes, etc.).
Cleaning the suture site (after 24-48 hours):
- Remove and leave off any bandage.
- Use soap and water and gently clean your wound as directed to keep it free from germs.
Help your wound heal:
- Limit activity: Limit stretching the areas around your wound. This will prevent bleeding and swelling of the wound area.
- Elevate your wound: If your wound is on your arm or leg, raise the wound higher than the level of your heart. This will help decrease pain and swelling.
If your wound bleeds (a light drainage is common for 24-48 hours):
- Hold direct (1-2 fingers) pressure directly on the site that is bleeding for 5-10 minutes. Do NOT remove pressure to look during this period.
- If bleeding persists call our office. If it is severe go to your local emergency room or dial 911.
- If you have increasing pain the wound area
- If you have questions or concerns about your condition or care
- If you have swelling or redness around the wound
- If the wound opens up.
How to limit the scar appearance:
- Sunscreen: Use sun block if your wound is exposed to the sun. Apply it every day after the sutures are removed. Avoid the sun or at least apply every 2 hours or after getting wet if in the sunlight. This will help prevent discoloration of your scar. Do not allow the sunlight to shine on your newly forming scar. Sunlight may darken the wound and make it more visible. Use a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 30 or more during the first year of healing.
- Massage your scar: After 4-6 weeks wash your hands with soap and water. Apply ointment to your fingertips and begin rubbing the ointment over your forming scar, using firm pressure. Use circular movements and straight-line movements to increase circulation in the area of your scar. Repeat your massages three to four times each day.
- Use an occlusive gel sheeting: Silicone sheeting applied 23 hours per day may improve any scar that is elevated.
*This article is intended as a guideline only. This is not intended as medical advice. There are no guarantees written or implied from the information presented here. Only a consultation can provide an appropriate evaluation and discussion regarding any procedure. Refer to your physician for medical decision making and advice.