How to Remove Steri Strips

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Steri-strips are the 3M brand name for butterfly suture closures. Steri-strips have been used extensively in wound care for many years. They may be applied after stitches or staples have been removed from a surgical incision or as the primary method to close a skin wound. Steri-strips are referred to as an artificial scab over the wound area. They are not always removed but rather are allowed to come off by themselves, much as a scab will fall off when the underlying wound is healed by the body.

Things You'll Need

  • Tweezers
  • Warm water

Your surgeon may ask you to remove Steri-strips at home after some surgeries.

  • Check the ends of the Steri-strip to see if they have begun to loosen. You may need to use tweezers to grasp the ends.

  • Pull the Steri-strip off slowly and with the direction of the incision or wound. Avoid pulling across the wound so that you do not disturb the healing process of the scar.

    Although Steri-strips can be placed across the wound in any direction, pulling them across the wound when removing can cause the healing edges of the wound to lift.

  • Soak the area with water prior to removal if the Steri-strips seem to be stuck tightly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Never force the Steri-strips off.
  • Soaking the strips in water before removal will help the adhesive to loosen.
  • Avoid getting your Steri-strips wet until you are ready to remove them.
  • Always consult your doctor's instructions before removing Steri-strips.

References

  • Photo Credit e.r. image by Andrey Rakhmatullin from Fotolia.com
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