How to remove steri-strips on a child

Updated February 21, 2017

Steri-Strips are an alternative to stitches, skin glue and staples when closing a wound on the skin. They are used to hold closed small cuts that need some extra help. Steri-Strips are thin, narrow lengths of plastic attached to the skin using a sticky adhesive. They don't leave the marks that stitches can leave behind, and are relatively painless. However, they aren't as strong as other methods of wound closure. Check your child's wound several times a day to make sure it's healing properly.

Ask your doctor how long the Steri-Strips should stay on the wound of your child. If the strips start falling off before the recommended time, check to make sure the wound has closed properly. Look for signs of infection around the wound as well, even if the strips are staying on your child as they should.

Check for swelling, increased redness, pain, drainage, bad smell and warmness near the wound area. Also check to see if your child has a fever. These symptoms may be signs of infection and you should contact your doctor immediately. If the strips have fallen off around the wound, but the wound hasn't closed, contact your doctor as well.

Keep Steri-Strips dry for at least three days, or a given amount of time recommended by your doctor. After three days, don't worry about getting the Steri-Strips wet in the bath or pool.

Let the Steri-Strips fall or peel off by themselves. Don't remove any that are still attached to the skin, because they will fall off eventually.


If signs of infection are present and you are unable to contact your doctor, contact your local emergency department or urgent-care facility.

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About the Author

Christina Martinez has been writing professionally since 2007. She's been published in the California State University at Fullerton newspaper, "The Daily Titan." Her writing has also appeared in "Orange County's Best" magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications and print journalism from California State University.