advanced treatment for the skin
  • patient information

    patient
    information

Post-Operative Care Instructions

Post-Operative Care is dependent on the procedure performed. Please follow the post-operative care instructions you received following your procedure.

Cryosurgery (Liquid Nitrogen)

After cryosurgery (liquid nitrogen treatment), the skin becomes red, swollen, and often blisters. Sometimes a blood blister may form as a normal response to the treatment. A scab or crust will form in the treatment area and will fall off when the healing is complete (approximately one to three weeks).

No special care is needed after treatment.

The skin may be washed and make-up may be applied to the treatment area. If a tense, painful blister forms, a sterile pin can be used to drain the fluid. A bandage should be used to cover the drained blister. Cool tap water compresses may be used for the first 24 hours after treatment, and then lukewarm tap water compresses can be used until the treatment area is completely healed.

Rarely, the lesion will recur after treatment. If this should happen, call the clinic at (541) 773-3636 to make a follow-up appointment so that it may be treated again.

Superficial Surgery

A scab will form in the treatment area after the surgery and will fall off when the healing is complete.

During the day, the wound may be covered with a bandage or left open, whichever you prefer. If the wound will be exposed to dust/dirt, please keep it covered. Leave the wound uncovered at night, unless you tend to pick and scratch in your sleep, in which case, cover with a bandage.

You may gently wash around the wound with soap and water. It is best to avoid swimming for the first 72 hours following surgery. Gently dry the wound after bathing or if it gets wet. Apply Vaseline or Mupirocin as directed by your dermatologist.

If the wound cracks or oozes, use a lukewarm tap water or hydrogen peroxide compress twice daily for 15 minutes. If the wound is drying and cracking you may apply a thin layer of Vaseline 3 times daily. Your dermatologist may prescribe Bactroban ointment (Mupirocin), which should be applied 3 times daily.

If the wound is scratched or rubbed, a small amount of bleeding might occur. Apply firm pressure with gauze or Kleenex for 15 minutes to stop the bleeding. If the skin around the wound becomes red, swollen, or painful, please contact the clinic promptly at (541) 773-3636.

Please do NOT apply Neomycin, Neosporin or triple antibiotic cream to the wound.

Punch Biopsy and/or Excision

Keep the dressing dry and in place for the first 24-36 hours.

Following the first 24-36 after surgery, wash normally with soap and water, and then pat the wound dry. Use a Q-tip soaked in hydrogen peroxide to go over the wound/suture line, then apply a thin layer of Vaseline to the wound/suture line.

A dressing or bandage is optional after the first 24-36 hours. You may wish to cover the wound at night to protect bed linens. Clean the wound once daily until the sutures are removed.

Please do NOT submerge or soak the wound in a bath tub, hot tub, swimming pool, river, or lake until the sutures have been removed. Please NO bending, straining, or heavy lifting for five days, unless otherwise directed.

If you experience mild discomfort or pain, you may take Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve. Please follow the over-the-counter instructions. 

If the skin around the wound becomes red, swollen, or painful, please contact the clinic promptly at (541) 773-3636.

Mohs and Secondary Healing

Keep the dressing dry and in place for 36-48 hours.

Following the first 36-48 hours after surgery, shower or bathe normally, and gently wash the area with soap and water at least one daily. Do not rub or scrub the wound. Pat the wound dry. You may use a moist Q-tip to gently remove old ointment. Apply Aquaphor ointment, Biafine emulsion, or Vaseline (as directed by your dermatologist) evenly to the entire base of the wound, up the edges, and at least 1/4 inch around the border. If you run out of ointment, you may use plain Vaseline. Apply the ointment 1-2 times daily.

Keep the wound moist at all times. Do NOT allow the wound to scab over or dry out. Apply the ointment as many times as necessary to keep the area moist. If the wound dries out or scabs, it can bleed, become painful, and interfere with the healing process.

Applying a dressing is optional during the day, however, you may want to cover the wound at night to protect bed linens or during the day when you are out in public. If you choose to cover the wound, use a nonstick pad (Telfa) and paper tape, or a regular bandage (if it covers the entire wound).

Do NOT use peroxide, alcohol, witch hazel, or iodine on the wound. Do NOT apply gauze to the wound. Do NOT use Neosporin, Bacitracin, or any kind of antibiotic ointment on the wound.

Bleeding is uncommon, however, if it should occur please lie down and apply firm, constant pressure with ice for twenty minutes. If the bleeding continues, repeat pressure with ice for an additional twenty minutes. In the event that the bleeding persists, please call our office promptly at (541) 773-3636.

Some swelling and redness around the wound is normal. This will disappear in a few days. There may be some drainage from the wound, which may be blood-tinged. This will also stop after a few days. If you experience mild discomfort or pain you may take Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve. Please follow the over-the-counter instructions.

Please call our office promptly at (541) 773-3636 if you experience any of the following:

  • Severe pain which is not relieved with medication
  • Drainage soaking through the dressing
  • Increased swelling and/or redness at the surgical site
  • Pus or foul odor from the surgical site

Please keep all follow-up appointments.

Suture Instructions

Keep the dressing covering your sutures dry and in place for 12 hours

You may shower normally after the initial 12 hours. It is best to avoid public swimming pools and hot tubs for at least 72 hours following surgery. It is preferable to avoid these for the 2-4 weeks it takes to completely heal the wound. Apply a small amount of plain Vaseline or Bactroban (Mupirocin) to the wound at least twice daily using sterile gauze or your clean fingertip. Please avoid using a cotton tip or cotton balls, as the fibers may become trapped in the wound and can lead to infection.

If the wound is not draining or bleeding after 24 hours, please allow the site to air out as much as possible. If the wound will be exposed to dust/dirt, please cover it. The wound may also be covered at night to avoid scratching the sutures in your sleep. Mild discomfort or pain is expected in the first couple of days. If you experience mild discomfort or pain you may take Tylenol, Advil, or Aleve. Please follow the over-the-counter instructions. Elevation of the site and applying ice packs for 10-15 minutes will also help with discomfort.

It is not uncommon to experience a black or blue mark around the surgery site or a temporary black eye and swelling if surgery is performed around the eyes. These conditions are normal and will be self-healing.

Infection is an uncommon problem, but can develop after a few days. Signs of infection include increased pain, tenderness, redness, swelling, yellow or green drainage, and pus in the suture line. Please call the office promptly at (541) 773-3636 if this occurs.

Please continue to clean and apply ointment to your sutures twice daily until you return to the clinic for your suture removal appointment.

Vinegar Soaks

Keep the dressing dry and in place for 12 hours.

You may shower normally and begin vinegar soaks (as instructed by your dermatologist) following the initial 12 hours. Mix one tablespoon of white vinegar with one pint of water (if it stings, use one teaspoon of white vinegar per pint of water). Soak a soft washcloth in the solution and apply the washcloth to the wound twice daily for 5-10 minutes. Pat dry and apply Vaseline or Bactroban (Mupirocin) ointment. If the wound is on a finger, toe, hand or foot, you may soak the area in a cup or wash basin of the vinegar solution above.

Continue vinegar soaks for 2-3 weeks or until the wound is completely healed. Allow the wound to air out as much as possible during the day. Apply ointment and cover with a bandage at night.