Cleaning your wound!
Updated: Jan 23
What you clean your wound with can either be helpful or harmful!
This is general education and what to do specifically for your wound will always depend on how the area currently looks. As wounds heal, recommendations will change.
In general do NOT use alcohol, hibicleanse, betadine or hydrogen peroxide on open wounds for extended periods of time. No more than a week especially if there are no signs of infection. If you are currently on antibiotics, it will blunt the signs of the infection which are redness, pain, drainage, swelling and foul odor,
Look for a ph balanced cleanser like saline or a wound cleanser, not an antiseptic.
Try a Hypochlorous Acid, a bacteriostatic agent that helps clean away bacteria from the surface of the wound, without damaging the new healthy tissue. You can try SkinSmart fairly inexpensive gentle cleanser with a nice spray bottle. Vashe is another option commonly used in wound care circles. These are safe enough to be used with any of your minor skin nicks and cuts that happen around the house.
If there are signs of infection, then you should use a bacteriostatic/antibacterial cleanser to help kill the bacteria. Anasept is one commonly recommended option but should be paired with medical management like antibiotics and antimicrobial wound dressings. If your surgeon is not local, your PCP or urgent care office should be able to assist you. With wounds that are not improving, getting in contact with a local wound clinic is ideal especially if there is necrotic tissue or the incision is starting to open.
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If you cannot find local help, I offer virtual wound consultations that can get you on a better path to healing and answer any of your questions about what you should be doing to care for your wound at home.