Skin Surgery

Skin Care West

Skin Surgery

Before your skin procedure:

  • Shower/cleanse on the morning of your scheduled procedure.
  • Do NOT stop any medications including blood thinners such as ASA (“Aspirin”), warfarin (“Coumadin”), clopidgrel (“Plavix”).

Please be prepared to wait. Although we do our best provide timely care, procedure times can vary.

Wound Care Advice:

  • If you are experiencing discomfort after the local anaesthetic has worn off, you may take acetaminophen (Tylenol) and/or try an ice pack.
  • If there is any bleeding, press firmly continuously on the wound using gauze or a clean cloth for 10 – 20 minutes. Prolonged pressure may be required if you are on a blood thinner. If the bleeding continues, please contact us or consider going to Emergency Department if we are unavailable.
  • Keep the wound dry for 24- 48 hours and then remove any dressings.
  • You can shower once the dressing has been taken off but do not soak the wound. It should be patted dry.
  • The wound should then be washed with gentle soap on a daily basis to keep it clean and to gently remove any loose scab or crust.
  • Do not apply cosmetics over a wound.
  • Petroleum jelly (Vaseline ointment) or Polysporin ointment (NOT cream) should be applied to the wound twice a day to keep it moist and promote better healing than a dry wound. Cover with an adhesive bandage to keep ointment in place and to protect wound.

If you have had stitches:

  • Avoid excess strain while the stitches are in place and for at least two weeks following suture removal.
  • If your wound opens and if there is bleeding, please contact our clinic or see another physician if we are unavailable. Keep the wound covered with ointment and an adhesive bandage.
  • You may be given an appointment for wound review (and suture removal if indicated).

The timing of suture removal depends the location and the wound. We will let you know but here are the approximate times:

  • Face and neck: 5 to 7 days
  • Scalp: 7 to 14 days
  • Trunk and upper extremities: 7 to 14 days
  • Lower extremities: 10 to 14 days

If you had a shave or curettage and cautery:

  • No stitches are needed. The wound will look like you “scraped yourself against a cement wall”. This wound type is slower to heal than those that have stitches.
  • Apply Polysporin ointment or petroleum jelly once or twice a day until the scab comes off. (Same wound care advice as above.)

Potential complications:

  • If the wound becomes increasingly red and painful or discharges pus it is probably infected – please contact us (or another doctor if we are unavailable) since you may need antibiotics.
  • On occasions, skin surgery can result in the development of a large scar (sometimes called a keloid scar). If you do develop a scar that starts to thicken/enlarge, massage the area using petroleum jelly for a few minutes a day.
  • If it continues to enlarge, consider applying silicon-based adhesive strips available at most pharmacies (ask the pharmacist).