Difference between bath and shower in relation to wound management

I have been advising patients who have undergone an operation not to be afraid of wetting their operative wounds (even with sutures) as early as the first day or within 48 hours.  I have been telling them to take a bath or shower without fear of wetting the operative wounds.

Recently, I came across a difference between a bath and shower.  I now have to qualify my advice.

In the Philippine context, taking a bath implies rubbing soap all over the body and then rinsing it away by pouring water from above the head.

In the western context however, it involves filling up a large bath tub with water, stepping into it and then half-reclining as the ‘bather’ cleanses and wipes his/her body with soap/bath products.

Taking a shower is just the act of washing yourself using a spray equipment that we call the shower. It may be wall mounted or handheld.

When I recommend “bath,” it is in the Philippine context of pouring water from above the head.  It is either this Philippine-context pouring or “buhos” bath or shower.  I don’t recommend the tub-bath in which the wound will be soaked.


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