Wound and Biopsy Care

Whether you have recently had a biopsy done to help diagnose a skin condition or have undergone a surgical procedure as part of your treatment, proper wound care is an essential step in the promotion of fast and healthy healing. By following the tips below, you’ll be ensuring your wound heals properly, minimizing any pain or irritation, as well as reducing the risk of infection.

We are always here to help! If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to call our resource line at 503-654-SKIN (7546).

General Wound Care

  • Wash the site gently with soap and water, twice a day.
  • Apply an ointment, such as Vaseline, Aquaphor, or Polysporin after each wash. (We do not recommend Neosporin because it has been shown to cause allergic reactions in some patients.)
  • Keep the site covered with a bandage, if possible, especially if it is in a location where the ointment will rub off. Bandages are optional, but the most important part is to keep ointment covering the wound.
  • Continue care for your wound/biopsy site for up to 14 days, as it heals.

Proper Healing

A moist wound environment is the best condition for healing and avoids “scabbing”. When a wound stays moist, the skin is able to “granulate”, which is the act of forming new skin.

You may notice your biopsy or wound site looks white after keeping it moist with ointment for a few days. This is new granulating tissue filling in the wound and is a good thing.

By keeping the site properly moist and clean, you’ll see your wound fill in with healthy, new skin over the course of a couple weeks, without the scabbing or dryness that can contribute to increased healing time and/or scarring. 

What to Watch For

Proper wound care should minimize the risk of infection, however be mindful of your wound site and take note of any signs the wound is not healing correctly. Call our office immediately if you experience any of the following signs of infection:
  • Dramatic swelling.
  • Redness that extends far beyond the wound. (Note: Some redness right around the wound is normal.)
  • Wound warm or hot to the touch.
  • Green and/or yellowish fluid leaking from wound.
  • Painful wound site.

Waiting For the Results

For biopsies, results are usually available within 7-10 days. Please call our office if you have not heard from us within two weeks.

Biopsies will be sent to CTA Lab or OHSU for dermatopathology reading. Please expect a separate bill from them. If your insurance company requires a certain laboratory, please specify during your appointment. 

Your provider will inform you of any follow-up appointments or additional care necessary following surgical procedures. 

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding wound care, do not hesitate to reach out to our office.

Still Have Questions or Concerns?

If you have any questions about wound care, we are always here to help.

Important: Call the resource line (503-654-7546 Option 2) during business hours (9am-4pm M-F) or visit the emergency room if you experience any of the following symptoms:

– Wound will not stop bleeding.
– Fever.
– Redness or Swelling at Wound Site.
– Inordinate Pain Around Wound Site.