Dr. Wallace’s Wound & Scar Care Instructions
- Wash your hands and under your nails to help avoid infection.
- Remove dressing and wash locally with antibacterial soap and water, and allow to dry completely prior to applying new dressing. Do not use hydrogen peroxide or alcohol on incision.
- Beyond washing the wound as described above, do not submerge the extremity or get it wet in the shower until cleared by Dr. Wallace. When the incision looks like a scar with no openings whatsoever (which is typically 4-6 weeks after surgery), it is safe to get it wet in the shower or bath.
- You should gently scrub or use a pumice stone around the incision area to remove accumulated dry skin. Then follow with appropriate lotion, such as Aquaphor or Eucerin, on non-incisional skin. (DO NOT scrub or apply lotion to the wound itself.)
- DO NOT apply any lotion, oils, creams, ointments to the incision. This includes Neosporin or other antibacterial products or Vitamin E.
- Watch for signs of infection. Contact Dr. Wallace at 972.250.5700 if you see signs of infection on the skin or near the wound, such as redness, pus, drainage, increasing pain, warmth or swelling.
Orthopedic Scar Care
When the incision looks like a scar (4-6 weeks after surgery) with no scabbing or open areas, the scar needs to be massaged. You should now use appropriate lotion, Scar Away, Mederma, or other moisturizer massage it for 10 minutes, 3 times per day. This should be done for at least 2 months. This helps decrease thick scar tissue that can develop and cause pain, as well as interfere with range of motion. Scar massage also helps the nerves become less sensitive over the incision. Some numbness can be expected after surgery that may not resolve.