Proper Wound Care
Changing Wound Dressing
- Change wound dressings in clean environment
- Avoid interruptions
- Wash hands thoroughly before changing wound dressing. Use soap and later for at least two minutes and wash well between the fingers and under nails. Rinse and dry.
- Apply disposable gloves, remove wound dressing, and dispose of the dressing in a plastic bag
- Rewash hands thoroughly
- Set up supplies
- Inspect wound carefully for signs of infection or changes, be sure to look at your skin around the wound
- Report any changes in wound to physician / provider
- Reapply clean gloves and apply prescribed dressing to the wound as instructed by physician / provider
- Wash hands third and final time after applying the new dressing
Maintaining Healthy Skin
The skin is the largest organ of the body. It provides protection, sensation, prevents excess loss of fluids, and helps regulate body temperature. Maintaining healthy skin is essential for continued protection and proper wound healing.
- Sun: Excessive sun exposure can have harmful effects that can increase aging of skin including dryness, tough leathery texture, wrinkling, and irregular pigmentation or dark spots. This may lead to skin cancers and should be evaluated by a physician / provider.
- Hydration: Moisturized skin maintains elasticity and prevents cracking which can lead to invasion of bacteria. Moisturizers should not be used between the toes as this will increase the chance of a fungal infection in this area, especially for diabetic patients. Talk with a physician / provider about additional areas of the skin to avoid with moisturizers.
- Soap: Excessive use of alkaline soap will interfere with the water-holding ability of the skin and may promote bacteria. However, not bathing will also promote bacteria growth. A strong alkaline soap used excessively should be avoided.
- Nutrition: Adequate nutrition with daily intake of protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals will keep the skin healthy. Patients with medical conditions should follow nutrition recommendations provided by a physician / provider.
- Medication: While some medications can negatively affect the skin, never stop taking medication unless first consulting with a physician / provider.