General Guidelines During Healing
Follow your health care provider’s instructions. Be sure to ask questions if you need further help with caring for the wound site or bandages once you are home. Do not remove dressings unless given specific direction to do so.
Prevent rubbing or scratching of your wounds. It is normal for your wound to itch as the new skin grows, but do not rub or scratch it, or break any blisters that may form.
Keep wounds and dressings dry at all times. Always place a waterproof covering over your dressings before washing. If the dressings get dirty or wet, contact your health care provider.
Keep an eye out for signs and symptoms of infection. Contact your health care provider if you have a fever or there is a bad smell. Other signs of infection include green or yellow drainage from the wound, redness near the dressings, or increased swelling.
Help reduce swelling. Elevating your arms and feet can help reduce swelling.
Avoid strenuous activity. Your health care provider may recommend limiting your physical activity while healing is taking place. Follow all instructions regarding movement and splinting, and take care to not bump treated areas against surfaces. Do not do physical work or lift heavy items until your health care provider says it’s okay.
General Guidelines After Healing
Protect the healed areas with gauze or other protective dressings. It may take up to two more weeks for your new skin to become strong. Protective dressings such as dry gauze, burn netting, and compression wraps can help prevent injury during this time.
Gently wash healed areas. Use sensitive skincare products, and gently pat, do not rub, your skin when cleansing and drying. Long showers or baths should be avoided.
Gently massage the healed area. Use a moisturizer or lotion that does not irritate your skin and does not contain perfume. Massage at least twice a day when your skin feels dry, or follow your health care provider’s instructions.
Avoid direct sun exposure at all times. New skin is more sensitive to sunlight and will sunburn quickly. Be sure to wear protective clothing, hats, and a sunscreen with an SPF of 30+. As with all lotions and creams, be gentle with application.
Avoid exposure to extremely cold temperatures. Because new skin is sensitive to the cold, limit your time in the cold and ensure you wear warm clothing when outdoors.