You had surgery and chances are you will have some post op care involved. Some surgeries will leave you with a small “poke hole” while others leave you with long incisions and sutures. All require some amount of care.
Throughout the healing process, it is crucial to avoid the sun; Scars are more susceptible to damage from harmful UVA/UVB rays. Sun exposure can cause hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin), hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin), as well as cause scars to thicken which can make it even more difficult to treat the scar.
Days 1 – 5
- Apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to incision for first three days only. Stop using the ointment after three days as it can irritate the skin or cause a reaction.
- If you have a subcuticular skin closure or skin adhesive (dermabond), you do not need to apply ointment.
- It is ok to shower 24 hours after your surgery and is encouraged; Allow water to run over the incision and pad the area dry. Avoid water directly to the incision. Do not scrub or pick at the wound.
- If steristrips or paper tape has been placed, keep them in place. If they get wet from shower, pat dry.
- Swelling and discoloration is expected and typically begins to subside at day three or four
Days 5 – 7
- Remove steristrips and tape on day 7 and reapply if instructed, weekly for the first 4 weeks;
- Swelling and bruising should be resolved or nearly gone
- If you had a facial procedure or neck procedure, your sutures will be removed within 5-7 DAYS
Weeks 2 – 4
- Incision sites may begin to itch. This is normal as it is a sign of healing skin.
- OK to gently cleanse wound (directly)
- Incisions should be closed or mostly closed and scar treatment can begin.
- Avoidance of the sun when possible, and sunscreen to protect the surgical site from UVA/B; aids in preventing discoloration
- FOR SILICONE SHEETS
- Ensure wound is clean before applying and dry of any creams, lotions, or ointments
- Wear daily for 6-24 hours, remove once daily to allow site to be washed and dried
- If gel sheet becomes dirty or loses adhesiveness, wash gently with mild soap and water. Allow to air dry before reapplying
Weeks 4 – 6
- Critical period for wound remodeling
- Continue scar therapy and use of sunscreen
Months 6 – 12
- Sunscreen with protection against UVA and UVB
If, at any time during recovery, the incision area ever becomes red, hot or painful, call the office 305.381.8900.