Patient Handouts : Wound Care for Excision or Punch Biopsy

Wound Care for Excision or Punch Biopsy

Keep the area dry for at least 1 day. As long as you keep it dry, the dressing that was applied in the office can be left in place for up to 3 days. After 3 days, or if the dressing gets wet, it should be cared for as follows:

  • Remove the old dressing/bandaid. If it is stuck to the wound you may loosen it by getting it wet with clean water and then removing the dressing.
  • Gently wash the area with clean water. Do not try to remove small scabs that may be attached to the stitches.
  • Pat dry with clean gauze or tissue.
  • Apply a protective ointment (Aquaphor, polysporin, bacitracin are examples) and cover with a bandaid or gauze and tape.
  • NOTE: although it is OK if the wound gets wet after the first day (for example, it is fine if it gets wet in the shower), it should NOT be immersed in water until after the stitches are removed (no swimming, hot tub immersion or bath tub immersion).

Note: the wound should not hurt! It will be sore, like a bruise, the first night, and after that it may be tender to touch, but it should not hurt.

Please contact our office for any of the following

  • Pain in or around the wound site
  • Redness extending more than about 1/3 inch from the edge of the wound
  • If the sutures break, fall out, or the wound opens
  • Swelling of the wound or the area around it
  • If you are worried that there might be something wrong