Showering Instructions and Plastic Surgery
Whether you undergo facial plastic surgery or body contouring to improve your appearance, it is important to know what to expect before, during, and after your treatment. This will not only give you peace of mind and reduce any anxiety, it will also help prevent post-operative complications, such as infection.
An essential aspect of pre- and post-operative instructions is how to maintain personal hygiene throughout the process. Today, Dr. Roger J. Oldham will discuss showering instructions before and after plastic surgery at our Bethesda, MD practice.
How to Shower before Your Plastic Surgery
We ask our patients to shower the night before their procedure using an unscented antibacterial soap. Be sure to clean all surfaces of the skin thoroughly and remove all makeup.
Avoid using any creams, lotions, or fragrances once you have showered. These steps will help reduce the risk of infection.
After Your Plastic Surgery: Avoid Showering for 48 Hours
Once your plastic surgery is complete, it is important to keep the surgical site dry and avoid direct pressure. For this reason, you will be asked to avoid showering for at least 48 hours; otherwise, the steady stream of water can have a negative impact on the sutures. In addition, exposing the incisions to water too soon can increase your risk for post-operative infection.
You may not be able to shampoo your hair for a few days, as the motion of lifting your arms over your head may cause problems with healing. Therefore, have a friend or family member help you wash your hair instead.
After Your Plastic Surgery: Avoid Soaking in a Tub for Two Weeks
In addition to avoiding showers, you will also need to steer clear of anything that submerges or soaks the sutures. This includes bathtubs, hot tubs, jacuzzies, swimming pools, and natural bodies of water.
Try a Sponge Bath
In lieu of showering or soaking in a tub, we recommend taking a sponge bath. Fill a clean container with lukewarm water and cleanse yourself using a soft washcloth and a gentle antibacterial soap.
Rather than cleaning the wounds directly, gently wash around the perimeter. Direct pressure can cause the incisions to reopen and lead to complications.
How to Shower after Your Plastic Surgery
Your surgeon will let you know an appropriate time to begin showering again. When you return to the shower, remember to:
- Keep surgical sites dry: It is imperative that you prevent water from affecting the surgical sites. The area should be covered with plastic wrap and turned away from the direct stream of water.
- Use cooler water: Hot water not only triggers itching, it also increases inflammation and swelling. Therefore, lukewarm or cool water should be used.
- Take shorter showers: Some patients may feel lightheaded after standing for long periods of time. Therefore, you should keep your showers brief.
- Use a gentle stream of water: Although it can be tempting to run the water at full blast, keep the showerhead on the gentlest setting until your healing process is complete.
- Pat yourself dry: Once you are out of the shower, air dry or gently pat yourself dry with a clean towel.
Contact Oldham Plastic Surgery Today
Are you preparing for plastic surgery? Follow the recommendations listed here and enjoy a relaxing, positive recovery. For more information, contact us online or call us at (301) 530-6100.