Post Procedure Instructions
Leave the dressing in place and keep it dry for 24 hours.
To change your dressing, start by washing your hands.
Gently rinse the wound with soap and water or apply a saline-soaked gauze for several minutes.
Pat wound dry and apply petrolatum (Vaseline) and cover with a band aid or a non-stick dressing with tape.
If the wound is on the scalp, shampoo gently with your usual shampoo. A bandage is not required.
If a crust or scab forms, do not force it or pick it off. Gently clean the wound and apply petrolatum daily for 1-2 weeks to keep the wound moist and protected. The scab will gradually come off.
Do not use make-up or powders near the surgery site until the surface is healed.
For SHAVE Biopsies or ED&C (burn and scrape)
Clean the wound daily as instructed above until the skin is healed over.
For PUNCH Biopsies or EXCISION(S)
Clean the wound daily as instructed above until your sutures are removed.
Your stitches are to be removed ____________ days after surgery.
You do not need an appointment for suture removal during the regular clinic hours:
Monday thru Thursday 0730-1100 and 1300-1500
- No exercise that increases your heart rate and blood pressure for two days after your biopsy.
- Scars are never as strong as the original skin. Therefore, they can widen under areas of tension. Do not perform any activity that pulls on your biopsy site during healing. Slowly return to your normal activity.
- Avoid swimming and contact sports until the wound has completely healed.
- Mild discomfort is normal immediately after surgery. If your wound is painful, you may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) as needed and apply ice packs for 15 minutes every hour while awake.
- Avoid aspirin and NSAIDs (ibuprofen, Motrin, Advil, Naprosyn etc) until your wound is healed.
- Call the clinic if your pain is severe, persistent for several days or worsening.
- Infection is not common. Look at your wound daily for expanding redness, warmth, swelling, tenderness or purulent discharge (pus).
- Call the clinic or come to the clinic for a wound check (during suture removal hours above) if you think you may have a wound infection.
REMEMBER: Alcohol, aspirin, or aspirin containing products may cause bleeding. Smoking slows healing.
Tripler Army Medical Center Dermatology