Wound Care

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					St Georges Healthcare
NHS Trust

St George’s Healthcare NHS Trust Accident and Emergency

Wound Care

What to expect
Wound usually take between a few days to 2 weeks to heal, but this will depend on where your injury is and your general health. If you have lost skin over an area and the wound could not be closed (an open wound), the healing will take longer. Wounds on the face heal quickly and lower leg wounds heal quite slowly. During the healing process, all wounds bleed and form a blood clot. The healing happens under the clot. It is normal for a thin yellow fluid to come out of healing wounds, so don’t worry. Pain, redness, swelling and pus (a yellow, milky fluid) can be a sign of infection. Open wounds need a clean, moist environment to heal. We recommend covering these with dressings and trying to leave it alone as much as possible. Sutured wounds on the face are usually left uncovered. All wounds heal by forming scar tissue and although initially pink, most scars soften and fade over time.

Dos and Don’ts
Do keep the wound clean and dry. Do elevate (keep raised) the affected part. Do give the wound a few days rest after the suture removal. After this you can gently massage the area with Vaseline to soften the scar tissue. Don’t scrub your wound with antiseptic solution as this will remove the blood clot and will delay healing. Don’t change the dressing too often, as healing will take longer. Don’t leave wet dressings on your wound, as this will provide a perfect environment for (bacteria) germs to get in and cause infection.

When to seek advice
If your wound becomes more painful or you notice increasing redness or swelling contact your GP or return to the Accident and Emergency department.

Further advice
If you have any questions, please contact NHS Direct (a health information phoneline) 0845 46 47 Your GP St. George’s Hospital Accident and Emergency Department 020 8672 1255

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