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Getting rid of this yellow stuff!

Yellow tissue in wounds is usually called slough or maybe fibrin.

It is necrotic tissue.

If the wound is a very large or deep opening, yellow tissue may also be fatty tissue. Body fat has more of a globular look and slough is more stringy and gloopy. (not medical terms, but you get the point) It looks different.

Deep wounds can also have white striated tissue but that is normally a tendon especially if the wound is close to a joint. If you are concerned if tissue is a tendon, try moving your closest joint and muscles and if it moves back and forth in the same manner as your movements. It is likely a tendon. Get immediate medical attention as compromised connective tissue can be at risk of permanent damage.

If you are planning to send a picture to me or any other medical professional, take a few pictures. Make sure your lens is clear, Try some with and without flash. Zoom in and see if that tissue is clear in the picture before you send it. Being able to ID the tissue is important.


Necrotic tissue needs to be removed for healing to continue. Debridement can be done in various ways mechanical (ex. wet-dry) enzymatic (ex. Santyl) surgical/sharp, or autolytic (moist dressings)

If your wound is now presenting with more yellow, black tissue than before, something is not right because you have more tissue necrosis or dying. This dead tissue can be a haven for bacteria growth which is another reason for removal. Any significant changes like this should be communicated with your surgeon and it may be advisable to seek out a local wound care specialist to perform sharp debridement if needed.

Until you can get an in-person visit for hands-on care, here are some options.

  • Keep it moist and covered.

  • Santyl is a prescription enzyme that helps to lysis necrotic tissue from healthy cells.

  • Honey products can help to promote autolytic debridement and also provide an antimicrobial component.

  • Mechanical debridement is typically done with wet-dry which is fine when the whole wound is yellow. You can also try to scrub the yellow past with gauze or a special tool like Debrisoft

Have concerns about what tissue you are looking send a picture or save time and book a private consult.


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