Wound Care Instructions (Burns)
University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Dept. of Nursing
Home Care Instructions for Patients
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed
First Published: March 1992
Last Revised: January 2004
- Daily Skin Care:
Wash involved areas with mild soap. Avoid perfumed soaps as they may cause irritation. Make sure to gently wash involved area thoroughly as excess buildup (i.e.: drainage or dead skin) may result in skin breakdown.
- Signs of Infection:
Observe the wound for any signs of infection. These include: swelling, redness, foul odor, green or yellow drainage from the wound, warmth at the site of swelling and redness, fever. Please notify the Burn Treatment Center if you notice any of these signs.
- Apply Dressings:
Cover with gauze and keep clean and dry.
Cover with gauze and keep clean and dry. In the evening apply a layer of Silvadene over your dressing; wrap with gauze.
- General Instructions:
- Avoid trauma to involved areas as this skin is sensitive and delicate.
- Avoid exposure to sun, and to extreme hot and cold temperatures.
- When outside, use a #15 or greater sunscreen and wear protective clothing. Apply 30 minutes before going out in the sun. Reapply every 30 minutes if perspiring.
- Keep the involved area elevated as much as possible--this will relieve some discomfort and reduce the swelling to the affected area.
- Itching may be a problem; if present, talk with the doctor, who may prescribe a medication to help you.
- Do not drive until you are pain free.
- Pain Medication may be prescribed.
Take 30 to 45 minutes prior to dressing changes or scheduled appointment on the Burn Unit.
- Antibiotics may be prescribed; take as directed.
- Resume your usual diet.
- Eat a well-balanced diet.
If the Following Occurs:
- Temperature over 38.0° C or 100.4° F.
- Signs of wound infection.
- Sudden onset of severe, unusual pain, nausea, vomiting.
- Bleeding from wound site.
The Burn Treatment Center