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A Few Tips to Help You With Wound Care

From the Colorado Dermatology Institute in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Daily Do of Dermatology - Title

Video Transcript:

So here’s another daily tip from your friendly local dermatologist.

So I do a ton of surgeries, in fact, I’ve done over 20,000 surgeries in my… 17 years, guys! 17 years. So, I know a thing or two about wounds healing. Let’s talk about this, because it doesn’t matter if you’re having something cut off on the top of your head or the bottom of your foot, there are some basics to wound healing to get you the best scar possible.

Ensuring your wound heals the best way possible

Number one, if you’ve been cut on and stitched up, then you’re not watertight. And if you’re not watertight, we have to be careful about the dirty water that runs over it in the shower for at least a couple of days, so that we give your body a chance to get water tight before dirty water tries to get it infected. Now a basic rule of thumb is one to two days for most areas of the body, to not let water run over it, so that we can keep it not infected. There are some areas of the body that need probably four or five days, and I would say those areas are the areas that move a ton, like your hands, maybe your feet. I also say for the four to five days, the other areas are areas that don’t heal very quickly, like below the knee. So let’s keep the dirty water off, or minimum of one day, preferably two days in most areas, and in areas that move a lot or in areas that don’t heal very well, four days.

Use vaseline!

The next is keep it moist with some Vaseline and covered. Guys, wounds need a constant temperature and a constant moisture to heal as quickly as possible, and with the best scar as possible, and when we cut something down the middle, we’ve separated two areas of skin that need to find a way to rejoin. How skin cells rejoin, is they kind of leapfrog over each other until the gap is merged. So picture this: picture a dry crusty scab, and then picture a nice smooth bed of Vaseline, and ask yourself what’s going to be easier for the skin cells to leapfrog over, and it’s gonna be the nice Vaseline that’s covered so it’s not bothered. And the covering will help keep it at a constant temperature.

Now sometimes we use special types of dressing to keep it constant moisture and constant temperature and not bothered. And those are fine, too. So talk to your local dermatologist about which method that we’re using to let your wounds heal optimally.

Avoid putting pressure on the wounds

And the last thing I’m going to say on this is, please don’t do anything that puts pull or pressure directly on the area for about six weeks. Give it a chance to heal before you’re putting external pressures on it. Because we all know we need to give things time to heal, and if you’re bothering it before it’s healed, it’s just going to be a worse scar. So please, we have other videos on this topic, please look at those. We have pre-operation videos to get you prepared for the surgery in the first place. Please watch those, because an educated patient is the best patient.

And last, if you have any questions about your specific procedure either the before, during, or after, please talk to your local dermatologist. Because we’re here to help you.

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