Wound Closure And The Benefit Of Steri-Strips TM
The term Steri-Strips TM (steri-strips), a 3M TM trademark name for wound closure tape, is often
used the way Kleenex is used when discussing facial tissues. Surgeons use these sterile skin
closure strips – which are coated with a pressure-sensitive, hypoallergenic adhesive – to reinforce
sutures. This humble product does vital work in the minimization of surgical scars, particularly
those resulting from cosmetic surgery, by allowing surgeons to use subcutaneous stitching.
Why Use Steri-Strips?
Surgical steri-strip tape is used to protect freshly created incisions in surgery. It is applied
directly on the incision after stitching, in order to:
- Protect fresh wounds from outside elements
- Maintain internal moisture to the wound underneath its surface
- Reinforce the strength of the closure, adding to the stability of the sutures
- Apply surface pressure to the scar to help it stay flat
- Optimize the conditions of your scar to improve the chances of minimizing its
How To Use Steri-Strips
Steri-strips comes in different forms. There are pre-cut strips akin to band-aides that provide
closure to small wounds and encourage the edges of the skin to heal safely. The surgical
version of this tape comes in long strips on a roll and helps protect sutures by keeping wounds
clean and preventing infection. Additional gauze dressings may be used in conjunction with the
strips. These may be wrapped over the top of surgical tape to protect the area from irritation and
contamination. Gauze dressings should be changed frequently at your doctor’s direction to
Steri-Strip Care And Post-Procedure Removal
Keep steri-strips clean and dry after surgery, as wet strips may fall off or trap external moisture
on a healing wound. This type of moisture can encourage bacteria to grow, causing an infection.
If the tape does fall off prematurely to your surgeon’s recommendation, be sure to call right
away for instructions on how to reapply.
Your surgeon might recommend keeping your sutures taped anywhere between 3 and 14 days
depending upon the location of your procedure, recovery time, and your ability to resist infection.
We strongly recommend keeping extra tape on hand to ensure optimal recovery.
Removal of medical tape is easy. Once your doctor okays the removal, soak them in water to loosen the adhesive. If your wound is lower on the body, you can sit in a warm bath without oil or bubbles. If the tape continues to adhere, gently pull to remove them.
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