Rancho Cordova, Roseville and Sacramento Dermatology
Care Instructions after Surgery
The Dermatologist used 2 layers of sutures to close the wound. The deep layer should dissolve in a few
months and the top layer of stitches will need to be removed at a scheduled time. The area can feel tight
for a week or more.
Today, please apply an ice compress for 10-15 minutes every hour for the first day. A bag of frozen
peas or an ice pack can be used wrapped in a thin towel. This is usually helpful the day of surgery to
help minimize swelling.
If the wound bleeds, apply firm direct pressure on area for 15 minutes. You may need to repeat this
twice. Do not lift up and “peek at the wound” during this time. If it does not stop bleeding, call us.
For pain, you may take Acetaminophen (Tylenol) as directed if OK with your medical conditions.
Limit activity and stretching in the wound area; this can lead to bleeding or sutures coming loose. If
the wound is on the head or neck, do not bend over at the waist. If the wound is on the lower leg,
elevate the surgery site ABOVE THE HEART for 2+ hours at a time to help reduce swelling. If you
notice swelling increasing as the day progresses and the swelling is down the next morning, you are
probably doing too much during the day.
Leave the bandage cover on for 24 hours or longer as directed.
1. Then remove the bandage. Using clean fingers or a wash cloth and using a mild, non- scented
soap, e.g. Dove, and warm water, wash the area to remove any crust or scab and all old
2. Rinse well and pat dry
3. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline (petrolatum jelly) or Aquaphor Healing Ointment.
4. Please DO NOT use Neosporin, Polysporin or Double or Triple Antibiotic ointment.
These products can cause irritation.
5. Apply a bandage or band aid large enough to prevent adhesive from sticking to the open wound.
It does not matter what shape of the band aid you choose to use.
Do this every day until the stitches are removed.
You will need to purchase additional ointment and band aids if you do not have them at home.