Copyright © 2007 - 2011
Mathias Masem, M.D.
All Rights Reserved

Patient Instructions

Instructions for Wound Care Problems

GAUZE: The correct gauze looks like folded cheesecloth. Some gauze has cotton filling, which may irritate your wounds - check to make sure that yours does not. Hold the gauze up to a light - you should be able to see little spots of light through the center of the pad.

RED PATCHES OF SKIN: May occur where the bandage is too tight and has been rubbing. If these areas also itch, you may have skin allergy to some medicine.

WHITE PATCHES OF SKIN: Usually occur in areas that are being kept too moist, which may lead to a rash or infection. This may be due to a bandage that doesn't breathe enough, wound drainage, or too much ointment. If this occurs, make the dressing thinner, change it more often, and use less ointment.

ADHESIVE TAPE: Some tapes can be irritating to the skin. If frequent bandage changes are anticipated, use tape on the bandage and avoid putting tape directly on the skin.

BURNS: Recently healed skin is very susceptible to a variety of burns. For several months after your wounds have healed, they may be burned easily by strong chemicals or the sun. Avoid sun exposure or use sunblock on the scars for at least six months. Lip balm with sunblock is a convenient way to carry around a bit of sun protection for scars.

INFECTION: Immediate attention is required for any signs of infection. Infection should be suspected if there is redness, pain or swelling that gets worse over the course of the day or night. Infection is uncommon in wounds less than four days after surgery or more than two weeks after surgery.


Signs of an infection
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Change in wound drainage
  • Increasing pain