Q. and A. with Dr. Kiskila- This Month’s Topic: Wound Care and Scar Prevention
Answer- The best way to clean a wound is with saline water and antiseptic soaps or solutions. Hibiclens and Dyna-Hex are brand names, but betadine and any antimicrobial wound care solution can work. Hibiclens and Dyna-Hex are less likely to sting when cleaning a wound.
Question- How do I know if I should get stitches?
Answer- It’s best to let a doctor look at a wound to determine how to close it. The sooner the wound is closed, the better the outcome is with less chance of infection and scarring. Typically, if it continues to bleed after minimal pressure, it’s best for a doctor to determine how best to care for it. Doctors may recommend stitches, Steri-Strips, skin glue, or even a simple Band-Aid or dressing. I like to use the “Oh no” rule. When looking at a wound, if you think to yourself, “Oh no,” then go to the urgent care to have the doctor recommend how best to care for it.
Question- How should I dress my wound?
Answer- Wound dressings are important so the wound doesn’t get infected and heals properly. It’s important for a dressing to apply enough pressure to stop the bleeding, but without compromising blood supply to the area distal to the wound. The dressing shouldn’t stick to the wound, because when the dressing is removed, it won’t cause a new wound or rip a scab or skin off. Antibiotic ointment is often used for wound dressing with a non-stick pad over it, and then a breathable gauze pad or roller gauze.
Question- What are the symptoms of a wound infection?
Answer- Symptoms of a wound infection are similar to other infections like fever, chills, body aches, and wound redness, worsening wound pain, or wound discharge.
Question- Is it better to cover the wound or have it exposed to air?
Answer- Most wounds heal best if left open to the air, but I would recommend covering the wound if it could be exposed to anything dirty.
Question- How do I minimize scarring?
Answer- Follow the doctor’s recommendations on wound healing so that it heals correctly. Vitamin E and biotin may help with wound healing, and certain skin products like keratin. Avoid the sun when wounds are healing.
Question- How long does it take for scars to fade?
Answer- Scars can last longer for some people than others depending on skin type and age. Skin is an organ and be affected by the type of scar. According to the National Institutes of Health, it can take between two and three years for scars to turn pale and the skin to mature.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.