Post Laceration Care
The following is a list of general instructions for your care following repair of your lacerations. Carefully follow these instructions to help you get one of the best results from the repair of your lacerations. Facial trauma is a rough injury. More bruising and swelling should be expected than with elective surgery. The process of healing will also be more prolonged. Typically, wounds require a full year before you can see the final result. We won’t critically evaluate your scar until you are a full year out.
- Go over the suture lines twice daily with hydrogen peroxide on a Q-tip. With another clean Q-tip, apply a liberal amount of antibiotic ointment. Bacitracin is preferable, but Neosporin or polysporin are acceptable.
- You may shower 24 hours after your repair. Using gentle shampoo such as Johnson’s Baby Shampoo, Dove, or Ivory soap is preferable.
- Immediately report any signs of bleeding that persist for more than ten minutes, infection, redness, fever, unusual drainage or pain.
- Stiches, if present, will be removed 5-7 days after repair. Please contact our office to schedule this appointment.
- Try to eat a well-balanced diet.
- If the trauma has caused wounds inside the mouth, please wash your mouth and gargle at least four times a day with hydrogen peroxide mixed half strength.
What to Expect:
Swelling will vary patient to patient. Swelling may actually increase the first 3-4 days before subsiding. Sleeping with your head elevated will help the swelling subside quicker. Placing cold ice packs or compresses on the injured areas is beneficial for the first 48 hours. If you experience increased tenderness, pain or fevers please contact our office.
Bruising will vary from patient to patient. Most bruising and discoloration should resolve over the first two weeks. After consulting with Dr. Preminger, makeup can be applied 10-14 days after repair.
There is normally less pain from facial trauma than one would expect from the appearance. Pain that you do have usually can be controlled with “extra strength” Tylenol (500 mg x 2) every 4 hours. Do not take any aspirin or ibuprofen containing products.
All lacerations heal with scars. The degree of scarring varies and is influenced by a personal history of excessive scar formation, location, type and size of the wound. After a full year we can reevaluate your scar.
- No strenuous exercise for at least 2 weeks.
- No swimming for 2 weeks.
- Avoid excessive sun exposure for 6 weeks.
- Wear sunscreen over affected areas for the first year.
- You may begin to apply Mederma, Scar Guard or Vitamin E to the wound one week after sutures are removed.