Wound care

Wound Care

  • The wound dressing should be left in place for 48 hours. Try not to get the area wet during this time.
  • If the dressing falls off, reapply a fresh dressing.
  • If the wound begins to bleed, hold pressure for 10 to 15 minutes and reinforce the dressing with additional gauze and tape. If the wound continues to bleed despite these measures, please call our office at (828) 697-1170.
  • Dr. Cohen is available 24/7 to handle this type of problem. In the unlikely event that the bleeding is brisk and Dr. Cohen is not immediately available, get attention at the nearest emergency room.
  • After 48 hours, the dressing may be removed and the wound gently cleansed with mild soap and sterile saline wound wash.
  • Keep all body areas clean to reduce the risk of transferring bacteria to the wound.
  • Do not apply an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin unless it has been prescribed by Dr. Cohen. Vaseline from a fresh tube is okay.
  • Keep the wound covered with a dressing for another five days.
  • If your skin becomes irritated by the adhesive tape, then it may be necessary to leave the wound uncovered. If you do have a reaction to the adhesive tape, contact Dr. Cohen for treatment. Other suggestions for those who are sensitive to adhesive tape include using paper tape or wrapping the area with Coban self-adherent cohesive wrap.
  • Avoid activities that will soak, stretch (sutured wounds) or contaminate wounds.

Open wounds normally heal in 3 to 6 weeks, however it may take twice as long if the wound is on the calf. Stitched wounds heal in two weeks, but are not fully bonded for another month. Skin glue and/or Steri-Strips usually fall off within seven days. If not, they can be removed with a clean pair of tweezers.

Most wounds develop some redness along their perimeter. It is normal to see an area of redness extending approximately 1/8 to 1/4 inch around the incision. Call Dr. Cohen immediately if there is splotchy redness, swelling and/or pain.

Biopsy reports should be available within five days, however sometimes it may take up to a week. Please call us if you have not heard from us within a week. Do not assume everything is okay just because you have not heard from us.