Wound Care: Ointments Therapy

Petrolatum - based ointments, such as Bacitracin, Polysporin, A&D, or Vaseline are often placed on wounds to help soften and moisturize the skin. It is very common for the skin of the hand to become dry and even peel after surgery. A thin coat of petrolatum ointment helps prevent peeling and cracking and makes the wound more comfortable and easier to clean. However, unless specifically arranged by the surgeon, the skin should not be kept wet, or maceration (white wrinkled skin) will develop and possibly lead to infection. Also, drying medicines, such as mercurochrome or lotions containing alcohol should not be used on the skin unless specifically suggested by the physician.

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