Deep cuts may require sutures or staples which are performed by professionals. Whichever part of the body the wound is located on, especially head, closure needs to be done within 12 hours after injury, in order to prevent infection. After the staples are attached to enclose wounds with parted skin edges, you will need to do a self-care at home regarding stapled wound healing. A proper treatment of cleaning the wound site with staples is definitely necessary, in order to prevent the signs of infection. You will also need someone’s assistance to perform the cleaning, since it will be really difficult to do it yourself.
Head wound with staples: Basic notes
- The head skin is delicate, so every attempt on cleaning head wound with staples should be done gently.
- Some doctors do not shave the hair before stapling head wounds, and this is normal. When cleaning a stapled head wound, therefore, you need to also clean the surrounding hair from any debris and drainage excess.
- Use mild products to rinse the hair and scalp while staples are still on it.
- If the stapled wound is located on the head part which has frequent contacts with pillow or bedding, it is better to cover it with a cotton gauze to prevent bacterial infection.
Cleaning head wound with staples
Staples used for providing closure to head wound is usually removed within a week, if the wound has healed and no infection is found. Between the times after staples are attached and before it is removed, the patient needs to care for the head wound at home. Although self-caring head wound with staples might seem complicated, it is definitely doable at home with another person’s assistance. Here are some steps to clean head wound with staples you can do at home.
- Clean the wound regularly. Do this gently with some notes:
- Use saline solution, hydrogen peroxide, or soap and water to clean the wound. Hydrogen peroxide might be too harsh on the wound. Hence, you can mix it with water in 1:1 proportion.
- If your hair and the staples are covered by dried blood, you might want to use peroxide to remove it. Do this by soaking a ball of cotton into peroxide solution and soak the scalp around the staples with this cotton ball. Peroxide will bubble and soften the dried blood so that it is easier to get rid of.
- Within the first two days, rinse the hair in the shower to get rid all staying debris. Afterwards, you can start using gentle shampoo—baby shampoo is recommended by most doctors, to wash the hair. Some people find it much easier to have the hair washed under the sink rather than in the shower. Soaking the hair in the bathtub is also helpful to rinse all the dirt in hair.
- Keep the wound moist. This will promote faster healing.
- Apply petroleum-based ointment around the stapled wounds.
- If you are not using any antibiotic ointment to keep the wound covered, use gauze pads to cover it and keep it moist. Change the pad regularly to prevent bacteria build up which may lead to infection.
- Get rid of formed scabs. This will promote proper healing and reduce the possibility of scarring.
- Do not pick any formed scars.
- Rinse the hair and scalp in the shower under warm water in order to soften the scabs. Do not scrub it, since it may tear surrounding tissues and cause the wound to re-bleed. Instead, lightly rub the area with your fingertips or a cotton swab to remove softened scabs. You can also apply a warm compress to soften and remove the scabs eventually.
- When formed scabs are off, apply petroleum-based or antibiotic ointment onto the affected area in order to prevent scabs from reoccurring.
- Avoid touching the staples at all when you are not cleaning it. Touching the wound site will transfer bacteria from the hand to the wound, which make it prone to infection. Be careful when you are sleeping as well, since scratches between the staples and pillow cases might irritate the whole wound and slow down the healing process.