Wounds can be wet – ROJoson’s 3rd time around on the web

Wounds can be wet – ROJoson’s 3rd time around on the web

Posted on March 10, 2015

Another reminder

Wounds can be wet – ROJoson’s 2nd time around on the web

Last September to October, 2011, I posted in my Facebook, blogs in WordPress.com, and email network that wounds can be wet.

Today, April 30, 2012, I will reinforce my advice that wounds can be wet.

First, I re-post my formal recommendations last September to October, 2011:

ROJOSON’s Recommendations:

You CAN wet wounds, both postoperative and non-postoperative ones, with TAP WATER, particularly when taking a bath.

Don’t be afraid to take a bath after an operation and after you accidentally incur a surface wound in any part of your body.

Don’t be afraid if your body surface wounds get wet while taking a bath.  You don’t need to wrap your wounds with a towel or a plastic in an attempt to prevent them from getting wet.  It is NOT necessary.  It is an UNNECESSARY INCONVENIENCE on your part and on your relatives. ENJOY YOUR BATH.  It contributes to the restoration of your physical and mental well-being after getting a surface wound.

While taking a bath, wash your wound with soap and water. Doing so will in fact decrease the chances of wound infection.

ROJoson’s Reinforcements (April 30, 2012):

Second, I will show pictures of two patients who cleansed their wounds after a mastectomy while taking a bath, with tubes still hanging from their chest wall,  with no infection developing.   After the bath, I advised leaving the wounds open with no gauze dressing as long as the wounds are dry.  They may wipe the external part of the tubes with alcohol after the bath.  Just wear a clean clothing.  They enjoyed their bath.  They felt comfortable at home while waiting for the tubes to be removed in my clinic.

Note: The erythema is not infection.  It is due to the sutures placed which will resolve after their removal.

I will also show a picture where a dressing causes a problem of blister formation from the plaster used to hold the dressing in place.  I advise, therefore, if the wounds are dry, no need for gauze dressing.  Just leave them exposed to the atmosphere.  However, the clothing touching the wounds should always be clean.  I will expound on the use of dressing in the near future.

Note: The blister (in the upper part of the picture) caused by a strip of plaster used to hold the gauze dressing in place.

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Below is the complete text of my September – October, 2011 post.

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Wounds can be wet

by Reynaldo O Joson on Friday, September 30, 2011 at 7:54am

Can you wet wounds incurred after an operation and after an injury outside an operation setting, say accidental cut on the leg?

ROJOSON’s Inputs:

You can wet wounds, both postoperative and non-postoperative ones, with tap water, particularly when taking a bath. The chances or risk of infection of the wound are NOT increased because of the wetting.  If a wound gets infected, it is due to causes other than wetting such as the wound being heavily contaminated and dirty to start with and a physician closing by suturing a dirty wound rather than leaving it open.

Thus, when taking a bath, do NOT be afraid of having your wound wet.  You don’t have to wrap your wound with plastic materials in an attempt to prevent it from getting wet while taking a bath.  In fact, while taking a bath, you have to gently wash or clean the wound with soap and water.  Doing so will in fact DECREASE the chances of wound infection. 

As a physician and a surgeon, I have been giving this piece of advice during the past 30 years (from 1981 to 2011).  I have been encountering a lot of resistance in my patients when I give this piece of advice because of the prevailing myth in the community, which most likely originated and is being propagated by my physician colleagues and health care professionals up to now.

I am glad that recently I came across at least two research studies that will support my advocacy to change this myth.

Here they are, the conclusions and the references of two research studies:

Conclusion:

“Wetting surgical wounds with clean tap water does not increase, and may even reduce, wound infection rate.”

Reference:

Ulceration and antihypertensive use are risk factors for infection after skin lesion excision.

Penington A.

ANZ J Surg. 2010 Sep;80(9):642-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1445-2197.2010.05344.x.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20840409

Conclusion:

“…wounds can be uncovered and allowed to get wet in the first 48 hours after minor skin excision without increasing the incidence of infection.”

Reference:

Can sutures get wet? Prospective randomised controlled trial of wound management in general practice

Heal C. et al

BMJ 332 : 1053 doi: 10.1136/bmj.38800.628704.AE (Published 24 April 2006)

http://www.bmj.com/content/332/7549/1053.full

 

ROJOSON’s Recommendations:

You CAN wet wounds, both postoperative and non-postoperative ones, with TAP WATER, particularly when taking a bath.

Don’t be afraid to take a bath after an operation and after you accidentally incur a surface wound in any part of your body.

Don’t be afraid if your body surface wounds get wet while taking a bath.  You don’t need to wrap your wounds with a towel or a plastic in an attempt to prevent them from getting wet.  It is NOT necessary.  It is an UNNECESSARY INCONVENIENCE on your part and on your relatives. ENJOY YOUR BATH.  It contributes to the restoration of your physical and mental well-being after getting a surface wound.

While taking a bath, wash your wound with soap and water. Doing so will in fact decrease the chances of wound infection.

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