How do I remove gauze from a healing wound?
Wounds heal best in a sterile moisture-controlled environment as the new skin cells (keratinocytes) need to migrate across a healthy wound bed during the healing process. In this respect, gauze dressings are considered non-ideal as the gauze dries up the wound and gets stuck to the wound bed.
Attempts to remove a stuck down gauze dressing will be painful and removes the new skin cells attempting to heal the wound. What works best in this situation is to soak the gauze in olive oil/normal saline for at least 30-60mins before attempting to remove it. Soak longer if required. The key is to be patient and be gentle.
For future wounds, non-stick dressings such as mepilex and hydrocolloid dressings such as duoderm extra thin are superior to simple gauze dressing.
Hope this helps!
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