If you have gone through a surgery, then chances are likely that you’ve had an incision made during the surgery. And that incision is going to take time to heal post-surgery.
That’s why it’s crucial that every surgery patient understand how to properly care for that incision when you get back home.
Keep reading down below to learn the top tips out there for caring for your incision after your surgery finishes and you’re relaxing at home.
Wash Your Hands At All Times
Of course, anytime you are going to be touching your incision or inspecting it, you have got to wash your hands.
Make sure to use warm water and soap to thoroughly disinfect before touching the area. If you don’t, you are risking an infection thanks to the bacteria on your hands.
Make Sure to Inspect Your Incisions Daily for Any Signs of Infections
You need to inspect your incision on a daily basis to ensure there is no infection happening.
If you do notice that there might be an infection, then this is the time where you call up your doctor to consult him or her. You never want to leave something like this untreated for long.
Know What to Do If Your Incision Starts to Bleed
If your incision starts to bleed, you’ve got to know what you do in this situation.
Whenever your incision is bleeding, take a clean cloth and apply direct pressure on the area for about 5 minutes. If it stops bleeding, then that’s great! You can clean up the area and go about your day.
If it doesn’t stop bleeding, then get a new cloth to apply pressure with and get to the emergency room.
Don’t Wear Such Tight Clothes Until It’s Healed
It’s best that you don’t wear any tight clothes around the incision area until the cut is fully healed. If you do wear tight clothes, then this might rub the incisions the wrong way and cause extra damage.
Itchiness Is Normal with Incisions After Surgery
Incisions are going to feel a bit itchy after surgery. This is completely normal and shouldn’t be any cause for alarm. Just don’t itch them as this can irritate your incision and cause extra damage.
If the itching doesn’t stop and seems to get worse, then have your doctor check it out for signs of infection.
Understand What to Do with Stitches or Staples
About a day after your surgery, you’re going to be able to shower and bath again. You can use soap and water to clean the area around your stitches or spots where syringes were used to inject glucose or blood in your body.
Whenever your incision is fully healed, then your staples or stitches will be taken off by your medical professional.
However, they may also dissolve, just dependent on what kind you received.
And Know What to Do with Steri-Strips
If you have steri-strips in place, then you can still wash and shower. Just use the same method you would use if you had stitches in the incision.
These strips are going to fall off on their own in two weeks, so don’t try to mess with them in any way!
What About Tissue Glue?
If you have tissue glue around your incision, then you want to make sure that this doesn’t get wet for at least 5-10 days.
This glue is going to fall away on its own, so just try to keep it out of the shower for the time being.
Understand the Signs of Infections
Of course, you’ve got to understand the signs of infection if you are going to play an active role in your health. If there’s any kind of discoloration around the wound, then that’s usually a big sign of infection.
Or if there are some weird smells around the incision – that’s something to watch out for.
Know If You’re at Higher Risk for Infection
Generally, there are some people who are at a higher risk of getting an infection than others. Know if you are one of these people. For example, if you have smoked regularly in the past or if you have diabetes, you are going to be at a higher risk.
There you have it! Caring for your incision after surgery is crucial if you want to stay healthy and have a full recovery.
Additional Reading: 6 Things You Should Know About Gastric Bypass Surgery