How to take care of steri strips

Written by erika sanders
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How to take care of steri strips
(Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images)

Steri Strips are thin, adhesive strips used to hold wounds closed while they heal. The strips are often used instead of bandages or dressings. While you can purchase Steri Strips (sometimes called butterfly bandages) at pharmacies, your doctor will most often be the person to apply a Steri Strip. It is important they are applied properly, which is why it is best to consult with your doctor before application. Once the Steri Strips are applied to a wound, caring for them requires only that you keep them dry and regularly observe the wound for signs of infection.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Cling film
  • Doctor's instructions

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  1. 1

    Review your doctor's instructions for wound care. If you have had surgery or another minor procedure, follow all your doctor's instructions for caring for your wound.

  2. 2

    Prevent your wound and Steri Strips from getting wet. Do not take baths. When you shower, cover the wound with cling film or a plastic bag to keep your strips, stitches and wound as dry as possible. Wetness under the Steri Strips can lead to an increased risk of infection.

  3. 3

    Check the wound often for redness, odour or other signs of infection. Steri Strips assist in closing the wound, but they do not prevent infection. Wounds can become infected for a variety of reasons. If you have any concerns, contact your doctor immediately.

  4. 4

    Steri Strips may fall off the skin after 10 days. Leave the Steri Strips in place until they fall off on their own accord or until your doctor determines it is appropriate to remove them. If the wound has healed and your doctor says you can remove the strips, use lotion or a small amount of water to loosen them from your skin.

  5. 5

    Attend all follow-up appointments, even if your wound appears healed and the strips have come off.

Tips and warnings

  • Contact your doctor if you think you are having an allergic reaction to the Steri Strips. Skin can be sensitive to the ingredients in adhesive bandages. If you develop a rash, redness or have other discomfort on your skin you may need to seek an alternative.

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