Wounds treated with stitches, tape or plasters

A wound can be treated in different ways. E.g. with tape, stitches or plasters.

About your visit

Your wound has been cleaned and we have assessed that the following treatment will best help the wound to heal properly:

☐ tape or Steri-Strips
☐ a soft bandage
☐ foam bandage
☐ plaster
☐ a layer of silicone or ointment and a bandage
☐ a dry bandage
☐ stitches

The bandage should be removed after ____ days by:

☐ yourself
☐ your general practitioner
☐ a homecare nurse.

When you get home

Contact your general practitioner at signs of infection

Keep an eye out for signs of infection until the wound has healed. Contact your general practitioner or dial 1813 to reach the medical helpline outside your general practitioner’s opening hours if you experience one or several of the following symptoms:

  • Redness, warmth or swelling at the site of the wound.
  • Throbbing or pulsing pains.
  • Red stripes on the skin extending from the site of the wound.
  • Wet or foul-smelling bandage.
  • Fever.

Keep the bandage clean and dry

You should keep the bandage clean and dry. Avoid touching the bandage for the first day. The risk of infection increases if the bandage gets wet. Change the bandage if it gets wet.

Avoid touching the Steri-Strips, and keep them dry

If you have Steri-Strips to hold the wound together, avoid touching the strips for as long as possible. The strips must not get wet as this increases the risk of infection. If they fall off, put on some new ones. We have given you some spare strips to use at home. When you put them on, the edges of the wound should touch each other. We recommend that children always wear a plaster on top of the Steri-Strips.

Remove the Steri-Strips when we tell you and remove them one by one. Pull both sides of the Steri-Strips towards the wound.

Keep the wound clean

Keep your wound clean. Dirt and debris can cause infection when the stitches are still in. You can cover the wound with a plaster after the first 24 hours.
Children should wear a plaster until the stitches are removed.

Avoid soap and disinfectants

Avoid cleaning the wound with soap or disinfectants, e.g. chlorhexidine or hand disinfectant. If we have so advised, you may in some cases use a mild, pH-neutral soap. Make sure to rinse thoroughly with water.

Only take showers

You may take showers, but avoid baths, swimming pools and swimming in the sea until the wound has healed, as this increases the risk of infection. Carefully dab the wound with a clean towel or washcloth when drying.

Move carefully

We recommend that you move carefully for the first few days, to avoid re-opening the wound.

Do not scratch the wound

Avoid scratching your wound if it is itchy. Cover the wound with a bandage if necessary. The risk of infection is reduced if you let the scab fall off by itself.

Avoid handling food if the wound is on your hand

If the wound is on your hand and you handle food at work, you should talk to your employer. You should either agree that you do not handle food until the wound has healed or that you wear gloves at work.

Do not use cream or ointment on the wound

Avoid using cream or ointment directly on the wound while the stitches are in.

Take pain-relieving medicine if you are in pain

You should take pain-relieving medicine if you are in pain. Pain-relieving medicine can be bought over the counter. Take only the amount of pain reliever recommended on the package. Contact your general practitioner if you need help managing the pain.

Practical precautions

Tetanus vaccination

If you received a tetanus vaccination at the hospital, it is normal for the skin around the area to become red, swollen or tender. This will pass after about a week.

Avoid nicotine

We recommend that you abstain from nicotine until your wounds have healed. Nicotine is found in cigarettes, nicotine gum and nicotine patches. It impairs the healing of wounds.

Avoid direct sunlight

You should avoid getting direct sunlight on the wound as long as the skin is red. The skin usually remains red for six months to a year. During this period, the skin is especially at risk of sunburn and may darken. The dark colour will not disappear. We recommend using a sunscreen with a high SPF or wearing clothes that cover your scar.

Worth knowing

Your personal data

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