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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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How long should Vaseline be used after a skingraft surgery?

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Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2012

Answered : 3614 Questions

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Posted on Mon, 1 Sep 2014 in Beauty & Cosmetics
Question: how long do I need to keep Vaseline & a bandage on a skingraft on my face? I had Mohs surgery a month ago. There's no drainage anymore but there is a little swelling still. Thank you.
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Answered by Dr. Shafi Ullah Khan 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Depends on the approach, 2 weeks more tops

Detailed Answer:
Thank you for asking
Except that little swelling which is very common every thing is perfect. There has been no complication Specially the complications of first 24 to 48 hours. Bandages and vaselines are for intermediate phase which is for maximum 21 days. But keeping it moist wit petroleum jelly for a bit longer is advised to keep the healing assured and free of infections.
Postoperative care following Mohs surgery depends on the type of repair used by the surgeon. Many methods of bandaging and cleansing are acceptable. The method i like and recommend is described in this section.

-Immediate postoperative period
For wounds left to heal by granulation (secondary intention), cleanse the lesion with normal saline solution and then apply topical petrolatum ointment. do the same 1-2 times a day.

For defects reconstructed with linear closure or flaps, cleanse the surgical site with saline and apply topical petrolatum ointment under a pressure dressing. leaving the bandage alone for 24-48 hours is advised. Subsequently, changing dressings daily using the same routine (ie, saline and topical petrolatum ointment).

For wounds repaired with skin grafts, placing the topical petrolatum ointment directly on the graft, and apply a petrolatum gauze dressing (eg, Xeroform). Place a few layers of sterile 4 × 4–inch gauze atop the petrolatum gauze to provide bulk for a good pressure dressing. Use a liquid dressing adhesive (eg, Mastisol) around the skin a few centimeters from the wound; then, apply paper tape to secure the bulky dressing. leave the dressing untouched until the following week.

one should be given oral antibiotics after undergoing more extensive repairs such as flaps and grafts and for larger wounds.

-After wound healing
For patients with extensive photodamage and actinic keratoses near surgical areas, fluorouracil cream, imiquimod cream, or photodynamic therapy can be recommended after the surgical site completely heals. Other superficially ablative techniques (eg, carbon dioxide or erbium: YAG laser) can also be used for skin resurfacing treatments (as cancer prophylaxis).

Nutshell your case is best case scenario. Every thing has recovered. Slight numbness and inflammation is normal. will resolve slowly. Keep the area clean and hygienic. Keep washing with the techniques i mentioned and keep applying the petroleum jelly. If the wound is healed you can spare the bandages. But keep doing the rest. The more you do it the more the chances for Graft acceptance. Rest 4 weeks is more than enough for the facial area to heal by primary intention. Just precautionary wise a week or two more care would do no harm.
I hope it helps.Take good care of yourself and dont forget to close the discussion please.
May the odds be ever in your favour.
Regards
Khan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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