You may experience some discomfort as your wounds are healing. If you have been given a prescription for pain medication, take this medicine only as directed. If you have not received a prescription for pain medication (and you are not allergic), you may take
Extra strength Tylenol 1-2 tablets every 4-6 hours as needed
Ibuprofen 400 mg every 4-6 hours as needed
Children strength Tylenol every 4-6 hours
If you experience bleeding from the wound, apply firm pressure for 15 minutes. Please call our office if this does not stop the bleeding.
Facial wound infection is rare. Keeping your wounds clean (see Wound Care) will decrease the risk of infection. You should call our office if you detect any new swelling or drainage from your wound(s).
Take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection. If you experience a rash or an unfavorable reaction to the antibiotic, discontinue use and notify our office. Be sure to take the prescribed antibiotics as directed to help prevent infection and complete the entire course of treatment. If you experience an upset stomach, we recommend taking acidophilus or a pro-biotic along with your antibiotic. Call our office if you have any questions.
Antibiotics may make oral contraceptives less effective. You should use an alternate form of birth control while on a course of antibiotics.
You will have sutures placed to keep the skin edges together as the wound heals. In most cases, these will dissolve. However, in some cases, sutures require removal 5-7 days after their placement.
Skin and other soft tissues heal by scar formation. Scarring can be minimized by careful wound repair and good wound care as healing occurs. Young (immature) scars are red and often raised. With time the redness will fade, and the scar will become flatter. It takes up to a year for the color of the scar to more closely match that of adjacent uninjured skin. Despite careful repair and good home care by the patient, some scars will be more noticeable than others. These can sometimes be improved by revision after complete healing. (See Scar Revisions)
Cleaning Your Wounds
- Peroxide: Your wounds might develop a crust. Gently cleanse crusting in affected areas three times a day using peroxide and a Q-tip. Crusts will bubble and can be wiped clean with a Q-tip. DO NOT PICK CRUSTS OFF as this may delay healing and leave you with a deeper and more noticeable scar.
- Soap and Water: 2-3 times per day, gently wash your wounds with a mild soap, then rinse and pat dry with a clean towel.
- Vaseline Ointment: After you clean the wound(s), apply a thin layer of ointment to the sutures. For the first week, keep the wound area moist with a thin layer of ointment. It will help the sutures dissolve, prevent crusting, and provide a more favorable environment for wound healing with less scarring.
24 hours following the procedure, you can take a shower. For the first few days, avoid spraying water directly on the wound, as this could be painful and may cause the wound to open.
These paper tape strips are applied across the wound(s) for six weeks after the sutures have dissolved or have been removed to support the healing wound(s). We will show you how to apply and remove this tape. You should apply them in the morning after you have washed and dried your face and wear them all day long. Remove them at night to wash your face and then re-apply.
Silicone Sheeting & Gels
After your sutures have been removed and all wound crusting has resolved, applying silicone sheeting or gels will help improve the appearance of the scar. The silicone should be worn 24 hours per day (except during bathing) for 2-3 months.
In addition to the silicone sheeting and gel products, we also recommend using Nucerity’s Skincerity scar treatment product to help improve the appearance of scars. It should be worn 24 hours per day (except during bathing) for 2-3 months. Please view the website to order this product.
- Sun Exposure: It is very important to avoid sun exposure to your wounds for nine months. Your new wounds are unable to resist the sun’s damaging effects and may develop a brown “tattoo” — the area of the scar will be darker in color than the surrounding skin. You must apply daily sunscreen (SPF 30 or greater) if you are in the sun and also wear protective clothing, such as a wide-brimmed hat.
- Swimming: Prolonged periods of immersion in water will irritate young healing wounds. Your wounds should be kept as dry as possible for the first month while swimming.
Some scars can be improved by scar revision after wound healing has occurred. There are three types of scar revision
- Removing the Scar: If a scar is very depressed, wide or has become very distorted during healing, it must first be removed. The scar will be cut out and the skin put back together to allow for new healing. We usually know in the first 6-10 weeks after the wound repair whether or not this type of revision will be necessary.
- Dermabrasion: For thin scars with uneven edges that cast shadows, the edges of the skin are surgically “sanded” to make them smoother and less noticeable. This is usually done 6-10 weeks after the initial wound repair or following the removal of a scar.
- Steroid Injection: Some scars tend to become wide or develop thick edges. These can often be improved by injecting a small amount of steroid into the scar itself. This is done 4-6 weeks after wound repair and may be repeated at 3-4 week intervals as needed.
We want you to have a smooth and pleasant recovery. Following these instructions will ensure the best possible outcome. Please call the office if you have any questions or concerns about your progress. We are available 24 hours a day.
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