Taking Care of Your Child after Skin Surgery
1. When you go home, try to get your child to
rest for the rest of the day - watch TV, read,
listen to the radio, play board games, or take
2. If your child is fussy or complains of any
pain, give Tylenol® or pain medicine that has
been prescribed every 4-6 hours in the dose
advised by your pediatrician. Do not give
any aspirin or ibuprofen.
3. When the surgery is done on an arm or leg,
try to keep an ice bag on the area (used 20
minutes on/20 minutes off) for 2 to 4 hours
and keep it raised up on a pillow for 48 hours.
If your child is very active and can’t sit still,
this is not needed. We know this can be a
4. Keep the bulky white top dressing (pressure
dressing) in place for at least 48 hours.
5. Leave the flat dressing (steri-strip) on your
child’s skin until the sutures are removed.
6. Bleeding is rare. When it occurs, it is most
often during the first 48 hours. A small
amount of blood on the inner layer of
dressing is expected. If blood is noted
soaking through the dressing, apply firm
direct pressure for 10 minutes (without
peeking). This will stop most bleeding.
Apply more dressings over the wound. It is
better not to remove the soiled pressure
dressing until after 48 hours. If bleeding does
not stop, call our office.
7. Try to keep the dressing dry until the stitches
are removed. Cover with plastic wrap or
wash around it. Sponge bathing is advised.
If the dressing becomes wet, it must be
removed to prevent infection. The area can be
gently cleansed with hydrogen peroxide and
clean water. Reapply dressing after the site is
8. If the dressing is soiled by drainage from the
wound or becomes detached, it may need to
be removed and replaced with a non-stick
dressing. Leave the “steri-strips” in place. A
small amount of drainage is normal. Always
use paper tape. You can always add more
tape to a loose dressing to keep it in place.
9. Your child should not be allowed to take part
in gym class at school. Do not allow rough
play or brisk exercise at home. Your doctor
will discuss the proper time to resume these
activities when the stitches are removed.
If you have any questions or problems please call our clinic at (608) 287-2450 or
(608) 263-6420 or call hospital operator (608) 262-0486 and ask to speak with the Dermatology
Resident on call. If you live out of the area, call 1-800-323-8742.
UW Dermatology Department
1 S. Park St 7th Floor
Madison, WI 53715
Clinic: (608) 287-2450
American Family Children’s Hospital
Pediatric Dermatology Specialty Clinic
1675 Highland Ave.
Madison, WI 53792
Clinic: (608) 263-6420
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call if you
have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with your doctor. This
is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. Because each
person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on your health care team when using
this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911. Copyright © 12/2016 University of Wisconsin Hospitals
and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing HF#6487