Moisturising the graft
Grafts, although well attached to the surrounding skin after the stitches have been removed, can sometimes lose a thin layer of skin from their surface. This can leave the surface of the graft looking a little like a blister after it has burst. The edges of the graft may also be raw where any dead overhanging skin has been removed by the nurse after stitch removal.
To prevent scabs forming on these areas, (scabbing slows the healing process) please apply a thin smear of Vaseline morning, midday and night to the entire surface and edges of the graft until these areas have healed. This may take one to two weeks.
Your graft can otherwise be treated as normal skin, you no longer require to keep it protected whilst showering, in other words you may now wash the area with soap and water.
Massaging the graft
You can commence massaging the graft one week after the stitches have come out, or when the graft has completely healed.
Massage the entire surface of the graft with Vaseline, Vitamin E Oil or another moisturiser of your choice using your finger tips. Please perform this morning and night for 5 to 10 minutes using firm circular motions.
This will need to continue for a period of 2 to 3 months, or until the centre of the graft and the graft edges feel smooth. Please remember, that grafts can take a full 12 months to look their best.
If you have any concerns, please ring the Skin & Cancer Foundation Australia on Monday through to Friday between the hours of 8am and 5pm on (02) 88333 000. If it is the weekend, or you cannot return to the clinic and you think there is a problem with your wound, such as an infection, please do the following:
- Go to the GP.
- If started on antibiotics, ask to have a wound swab with a copy of the results sent to the Skin & Cancer Foundation Australia.
- Please ring and inform us of your visit to the GP so we can document this in your file.
- Signs of Infection are redness, tenderness, hot to touch and pus.