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The Benefits of Steri-Strips for Wound Closure7 min read

Wound Closure And The Benefit Of Steri-Strips ™
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Proper wound closure is crucial for healing after surgery—not just for aesthetic reasons but also to reduce the risk of infection and ensure a faster recovery. Among the various methods available, Steri-Strips are a favored choice for healthcare professionals and patients

These small, adhesive strips are designed to hold the edges of a wound together gently yet securely, much like common household tape, but with a medical-grade twist.

Steri-Strips can be particularly useful after plastic surgery, where minimizing scarring is often as important as the procedure itself. 

Whether you’re a patient preparing for a procedure or someone caring for a surgical wound at home, understanding these tools can make a big difference in your recovery journey.

Steri-Strips

What Are Steri-Strips, and How Do They Assist Wound Closure?

Steri-Strips, also known as skin closure strips, are narrow adhesive bandages used to close small cuts or minor surgical incisions. They are made from a non-woven, hypoallergenic material that is both flexible and strong, allowing the skin to breathe while holding the wound edges together.

 This method of closure helps to reduce tension on the wound, minimizing scarring and allowing the skin to heal neatly. Unlike stitches or staples, Steri-Strips are applied externally and do not require removal by a healthcare professional, making them a convenient option for both doctors and patients.

 

How Do Steri-Strips Promote Faster Healing in Post-Surgery Wounds?

Steri-Strips help to promote faster healing by securely approximating the edges of a wound, thus minimizing the wound gap and reducing the area that needs to heal. 

This alignment supports the natural clotting process and protects the wound from bacterial contamination and further injury. 

By reducing the tension on the surrounding skin, Steri-Strips prevent the pulling and stretching that can disrupt new tissue formation and lead to wider, more noticeable scars.

 

When Should Steri-Strips Be Used in Post-Plastic Surgery Care?

Steri-Strips are often used in post-plastic surgery care to close incisions where minimal scarring is desired, such as on the face or other visible areas. They are typically applied after the surgical stitches have been removed, or in some cases, instead of stitches if the incision is small enough. Their use is particularly beneficial when the skin edges are clean, straight, and easily brought together. Surgeons may also recommend Steri-Strips for patients who are allergic to certain suture materials or for those looking for a less invasive option.

 

Are There Specific Types of Surgical Incisions That Benefit Most from Steri-Strips?

Steri-Strips are especially effective for straight, linear incisions that have been made with surgical precision. They work best on incisions that are not under high tension and where the edges can be easily aligned without significant gaps. 

Common plastic surgery procedures that often benefit from the use of Steri-Strips include facelifts, eyelid surgeries, and minor cosmetic adjustments. In these cases, Steri-Strips not only aid in healing but also help in achieving a more aesthetically pleasing outcome by ensuring a thinner, less visible scar.

Steri-Strips

How to Use Steri-Strips

Steri-Strips are available in various forms, tailored to meet different wound care needs. For smaller wounds, pre-cut strips similar to bandages can be used. These are designed to pull the skin edges together, promoting safer and quicker healing by ensuring the wound remains closed and minimally exposed.

For larger or more complex wounds, especially post-surgery, Steri-Strips also come in longer rolls. This format allows for customization in length to adequately cover the wound. These strips play a crucial role in protecting sutures, maintaining the cleanliness of the wound, and preventing infections by securing the wound against external contaminants.

To enhance protection, Steri-Strips are often used in combination with gauze dressings. The gauze is placed over the Steri-Strips to shield the wound from irritation and further contamination. 

Regular gauze change helps maintain a clean environment around the wound, which is vital for preventing infection and ensuring optimal healing conditions. This integrated approach helps manage the wound care process effectively, supporting a smoother recovery.

 

What Other Dressing Options Are Available for Post-Plastic Surgery Care?

After undergoing plastic surgery, choosing the right type of wound care is crucial for effective healing and minimizing scarring. Here are some effective dressing options available for post-plastic surgery care:

  • Silicone Scar Gels and Sheets: Products like BioCorneum Scar Treatment Plus SPF 30 are highly recommended for their dual benefits of scar treatment and sun protection. These are particularly useful for outdoor recovery periods as they protect scars from UV rays while aiding in scar management by hydrating and softening the scar tissue.
  • Hydrogel Dressings: These dressings provide a moist healing environment and are ideal for wounds or burns. They help soothe the area and can be particularly comforting if the wound site is painful or irritated.
  • Foam Dressings: Foam dressings are another excellent option as they can handle a significant amount of exudate and provide a cushioning effect, which is ideal for more extensive surgical sites.
  • Antimicrobial and Silver Dressings: For wounds at higher risk of infection, dressings that contain antimicrobial agents or silver can help reduce the risk and promote healing.
  • Compression Garments and Gauze: Compression garments are often used in recovery from surgeries like abdominoplasty or breast augmentation to support the healing tissues and reduce swelling. Paired with gentle, non-adherent gauze, these can protect the wound while providing necessary compression to the area.
  • Specialty Oils and Creams: Products such as Mederma’s Quick Dry Oil offer fast-absorbing treatment to improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and overall skin texture. These products are free from dyes and fragrances, making them suitable for sensitive skin post-surgery.

 

What Are Some Essential Tips for Managing Dressings and Wound Care at Home?

Managing dressings and wound care at home effectively is crucial to ensure a smooth recovery process. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind:

  • Keep the Wound Clean: Always wash your hands before and after touching the wound or the dressing. This reduces the risk of introducing infections.
  • Follow Instructions: Follow the specific instructions provided by your healthcare provider regarding how to care for your wound.
  • Monitor for Signs of Infection: Regularly check the wound for any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, heat, pain, or unpleasant odor. If you notice any of these signs, contact your healthcare provider.
  • Maintain a Dry and Clean Environment: Keep the wound as dry and clean as possible. Avoid exposing it to dirt, dust, and water from baths or swimming.
  • Avoid Pulling or Strain on the Wound: Be cautious not to stretch or pull the wound area. This can help prevent the wound from reopening and reduce scarring.
  • Educate Yourself about Dressing Types: Understand the types of dressings prescribed (e.g., hydrogel, foam, silicone strips) and their specific purposes, as some may be designed to stay on longer than others.

How Often Should Wound Dressings Be Changed to Prevent Infection?

Managing dressings and wound care at home effectively is crucial to ensure a smooth recovery process. 

Always wash your hands before and after touching the wound or the dressing. This reduces the risk of introducing infections.

Be sure to follow the specific instructions provided by Dr. Chang regarding how to care for your wound. 

Regularly check the wound for any signs of infection, such as increased redness, swelling, heat, pain, or unpleasant odor. If you notice any of these signs, contact your healthcare provider.

Keep the wound as dry and clean as possible. Avoid exposing it to dirt, dust, and water from baths or swimming. Wear comfortable clothing to make dressing changing easier. 

Be cautious not to stretch or pull the wound area. This can help prevent the wound from reopening and reduce scarring.

Steri-Strips

Explore Our Range of Post-Surgical Care Products Today!

Meet us at 19500 Sandridge Way, Suite 350, Leesburg, VA 20176, or call us at (703) 574-4342 for a complimentary consultation with Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon Dr. Phillip Chang before moving forward with your procedure. If everything matches up, our team will help you navigate the entire process from beginning to end. Also, remember to check out our blog and social media for more information on cosmetic surgery trends!

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