FAQ: Wounds and Skin Care
The Enloe Wound/Ostomy & Hyperbaric Center in Chico, Calif., is designed to complement your physician's services and is committed to the treatment of difficult, non-healing wounds.
Here we address common questions about caring for your wounds and maintaining good skin health.
Should I Let My Wound Be Open to Air?
No, wound healing best occurs when the wound bed is kept moist and the healing cells can travel across the wound to close it. The purpose of the dressing prescribed for you is to maintain just the right amount of moisture, not too much and not too little. It will also protect the wound from contamination from the environment.
Can I Get My Wound Wet in the Shower?
Yes, unless you have sutures (stitches), staples, exposed bone, or your doctor has advised against it. Make sure you ask before you shower or bathe. If you need to keep your wound dry, use a garbage bag or some sort of plastic cover to keep it dry when you shower. Typically you should not be “soaking” your wound.
If I Get Dry Skin, Can I Use Lotion?
Yes, skin that is kept moist is less likely to break down. But do not put skin lotion in the wound. If you have skin that is broken open, please ask the doctor for a recommended product.
What Kind of Skin Lotions Are Suggested?
Suggested lotions are any kind of lotion that is an emollient, which puts moisture back into the skin. Examples of emollients that may be recommended are: Curel Moisturizing, Nivea Neutrogena, A&D ointment, Cetaphil, and Eucerin Moisturizing.
Will the Sun’s Rays or a Sun Lamp Help My Skin?
No. These will dry out the wound bed, and the goal is to keep the wound bed moist. In addition, skin may become burned, which can cause other problems.
What Does It Mean If an Area of My Skin Changes Color?
Some skin changes are not harmful, but others, like redness, can be a sign of problems. Inspect the skin around the wound daily for any changes. Report changes, especially redness, promptly to your health care provider.
If I Am a Diabetic, Is It Important To Keep My Blood Sugar in Control?
Yes, it is very important. High blood sugar can slow down or prevent wound healing. You should discuss what a good goal for your blood sugar should be with your wound care physician.
What Other Things Should I Be Reporting To My Wound Care Doctor?
Please inform your doctor of any of the following:
- Pain from your wound
- Increase in drainage from your wound
- High blood sugar if you are diabetic
- Redness in the skin around your wound
- Bleeding from your wound
- Changes in your body temperature, blood pressure or mental orientation
- Need for dressing supplies
- Any new wounds you find on your body
- Any changes in your medications
- Difficulty in completing the prescribed dressing changes
- Any questions or concerns you have about your wound care
More Answers to Your Wound Care Questions
Enloe Wound/Ostomy & Hyperbaric Center
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