Bowling Green – Glasgow – Russellville – Franklin

wound care instructions


All wounds heal best when kept clean, moist and covered. The following steps will promote optimal wound healing and yield the best cosmetic result:


  1. You may begin showering or bathing 24-48 hours after the bandage is removed, unless otherwise instructed.  It is permissible for water, soap and/or shampoo to run over the wound. Replace the bandage as described above after bathing/showering.
  2. Minimize strenuous activity, bending, and lifting for the first 48 hours as they can cause trauma to the surgical site and result in post-operative bleeding.
  3. You may use ice packs two or three times a day for 10-15 minutes to help with swelling.
  4. You may want to elevate your head at night using extra pillows for surgical wounds on the head and neck. 
  5. Expect a small amount of bleeding or oozing in the first 3-4 days following surgery.  This will be minimized by limiting physical activity for the first 48 hours. If the bleeding is heavy, apply firm pressure to the dressing with a dry wash cloth for 30 minutes.  Do not check the site during these 30 minutes. If bleeding continues after 30 minutes of constant pressure, call Dr. Cowan.
  6. Swelling and redness may occur around the wound for several days.  If the procedure took place around the eyes, the skin in that area may be swollen and bruised for a few days.
  7. You may want to elevate your legs above the level of your heart several times per day and limit strenuous physical activity for surgical wounds on the lower extremities.
  8. A low-grade fever (99-100 degrees) may occur following surgery.  It can be treated with Tylenol.


  • Please leave the bandage in place for at least 24 hours following surgery. The bandage should be kept dry during this time. For pain/discomfort, try Tylenol first. Dr. Cowan may prescribe a stronger pain medication if necessary. Try to avoid aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin), and naproxen (Aleve) for the first 24 hours following surgery as they may increase the risk of post-operative bleeding.

  • Clean the wound 2-3 times per day with mild soap and water or a mixture of equal parts hydrogen peroxide and water. Cover the wound with mupirocin (NOT Neosporin or triple antibiotic ointment) using a Q-tip. Cover the wound with a non-adherent bandage or large Band-Aid. Paper tape is best used to secure any bandages. 


  • Ηydrogen Peroxide
  • Cup (to mix half & half with warm water and hydrogen peroxide) 
  • Q-tips or gauze (wet them in the peroxide/water solution and gently clean the wound) 
  • Mupirocin 2% ointment (prescription topical antibiotic provided by Bowling Green Dermatology) 
  • Non-stick pads (sterile or non-steile will suffice) 
  • Paper tape (to secure the bandage) or large Band-Aids

Surgical excision is the removal of either a benign or malignant lesion of the skin using a scalpel. Once a lesion has been removed, the surgical defect will be sutured in a straight line by pulling the edges of the skin together.