Wound care advice

How to care for your wound to aid wound healing


  • A special wound glue has been used. It is designed to hold the wound edges together until it has healed.
  • The glue will need to stay on long enough for this to take place (at least five days).
  • The glue will come off on its own. Do not pick or encourage the glue off. Too early a removal will increase the risk of scarring and may introduce infection.
  • Avoid washing the area. However, water splashing onto the wound after treatment will not affect the glue.
  • Do not put any dressing on the wound. Never use an Elastoplast on the glue as this will make it sweat and the edges will not hold together.
  • Do not use any antiseptic creams over the glue.


  • Your wound has been closed using special steel wound staples. They are designed to hold the wound together until the wound has healed.
  • You will need to make an appointment with the practice nurse at your GP’s surgery to have the staples removed in 5-7 days or as advised by the health care practitioner who put them in for you.
  • We will provide you with a staple remover that you will need to take with you. It is a painless procedure.
  • You may both shower and wash your hair with staples in. If using a hair dryer it is advised to have it on a cool setting.
  • The staples are designed to stand up proud from the skin and this may, if you are not careful, catch in a comb or brush.

Suture (stitches)

  • If your wound has been closed using stitches, you will need to make an appointment with the practice nurse at your GP’s surgery for them to be removed. Your clinician in ED will advise you on the number of stitches to be removed and how many days before they need to be taken out.
  • Stitches on the face may not be dressed. Apply clean Vaseline to the wound twice a day, but not last thing at night as it will rub off on your bedclothes.
  • If Steristrips have been used you can remove these yourself after seven days by gently moistening the wound and paper strips with warm water.
  • Avoid touching the wound or getting it wet as this will encourage infections.
  • If a plastic finger stall is needed for hygiene purposes, only use for short periods due to them increasing moisture around the wound site.

General wound care advice

Wound infections are always a possibility after an accident.

Please contact your GP if your wound develops any of the following:

  • Increased redness, pain, swelling or heat around the wound.
  • An offensive smell.
  • A thick creamy discharge. However, it is normal for there to be a clear straw coloured fluid weeping from the wound in the first 36 hours.
  • Fever.

If you get any of the above, please go and see your GP or return to the Emergency Department.


We will only give you a tetanus injection if you have the type of wound that is shown to be likely to be infected by tetanus or you have not had the full recommended course of immunisation during your lifetime.

© North Bristol NHS Trust. This edition published April 2024. Review due April 2027. NBT002253.

Wound care advice

Contact Emergency Department (ED)

Gate 35, Level 0
Brunel building
Southmead Hospital
Southmead Road
BS10 5NB

Emergency Department Main Reception Gate 35: 0117 4145100 or 0117 4145101