Caring for Your Skin After a Wound
Caring for Your Wound
About the skin you're in
Did you know that the skin is the largest organ of the body? Despite only being a few millimeters thick, skin can weigh between 7.5 and 22 pounds and cover a surface area of 16 to 22 square feet.
Taking care of this vital organ is important for your overall health, because the skin serves as more than a cover for our muscles and bones. Skin protects internal organs from harmful external factors (bacteria, ultraviolet rays, moisture) as well regulates body temperature, stores essential nutrients, and give us the sense of touch.Changes in the skin such as color or texture, can be a sign of other medical conditions and should be monitored by a health care professional.
How to care for your skin:
Effective treatments can help heal wounds. Our team of dedicated wound care specialists include doctors, nurses, therapists, and other medical professionals. Together they use the latest treatments, so you feel better and get back to enjoying your life.
Available treatment options may include:
- After an injury, wash the wound thoroughly with clean water and mild soap. Do not use alcohol, Betadine or Hydrogen Peroxide unless ordered to do so by your physician. Apply a gentle pressure to stop any bleeding.
- Keep your wound moist with a layer of petroleum jelly and cover with a bandage.
- Keep your wound and the surrounding skin clean and free of irritants.
- Monitor surgical sites for signs of infection. Follow doctor’s orders regarding dressing changes and when to get stitches removed.
- Inform your wound care team if a wound does not heal within four weeks or increases in size.
At home care:
- Keep skin clean and dry. Be sure to immediately treat any inconsistencies. Practice good hygiene including washing hands with a mild soap.
- Moisturize daily. Standard lotions help prevent drying. Be careful not to place any lotion between the toes.
- Properly care for minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. Note any changes in appearance of a wound and the surrounding skin. Let your care team know of any changes.
- Take short, lukewarm showers or baths. Hot water can cause skin to dry out and crack.
- Protect vulnerable areas with proper offloading. This may include using total contact casts, removable cast walkers, wheelchairs, specialist pads, and repositioning.
- Eat a variety of healthy foods. These foods include fruits, vegetables, whole-grain breads, and fish. Foods that are high in protein may help a pressure ulcer heal. This includes lean meats, beans, milk, yogurt, and cheese. Nutrition shakes may also give extra calories and protein if you have trouble eating or may be underweight.
- Hydrate with water. Fluids helps prevent dry skin and/or dry mouth and are essential for a healthy body.
- Avoid tobacco products. Begin a smoking cessation program if necessary. Smoking damages collagen and elastin, which give skin strength and elasticity.
- Use sunscreen and wear protective clothing outside. Keep skin covered and protected when possible.
- Regularly preform a full-body skin check. Inform your care team of any areas with discoloration, odd texture, swelling, or discharge.