How to Remove Adhesive Bandages After Surgery

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Following surgery most patients will leave the hospital with surgical bandages over their wound along with instructions on when to remove them. Getting the bandages off can be painful and the residual adhesive is difficult to remove with simple soap. But bandages can be changed or removed in just a few easy steps with minimal pain.

Things You'll Need

  • Antibacterial soap
  • Baby oil
  • Cotton balls
  • Fresh bandage
  • Fragrance-free soap
  • Before beginning the bandage removal process wash your hands thoroughly with antibacterial soap. You do not want to risk causing an infection because of germs on your hands.

  • Dry your hands and hold the end of the bandage. Slowly pull your skin away from the bandage. Removing the skin from the bandage rather than the bandage from the skin will minimize pain. Continue to press the skin down and pull the bandage away until it is off.

  • You may notice heavy adhesive left on the skin. Take a cotton ball from a sealed package and put a bit of baby oil on it. Rub the cotton ball on the adhesive residue to remove it. Be careful not to come to close to the wound.

  • You may be instructed to wash the area after you remove the bandage. Use a gentle fragrance-free bar soap to wash the area. Pat it dry with a clean towel when you are done washing it off.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not remove surgical bandages without checking with your healthcare provider. Follow doctor's instructions on when to change or remove surgical bandages. Never use any chemical products to remove adhesive residue, they will cause skin irritation.

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