These instructions are for patients who have had excision with sutures (stitches) performed at Spot Check Clinic.

If you suspect a problem, we are happy to review your wound at any time after your procedure for any reason.

Procedure day

Rest the area. If the procedure was on your arm or leg, keep the limb elevated. Avoid stretching the area or any heavy lifting/exercise until the wound has been checked by a doctor or nurse and the stitches removed (up to two weeks later).

If the wound is sore, take paracetamol and/or codeine. Avoid non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin or ibuprofen as these can lead to bleeding.

If you have a crepe bandage, leave it on. If it feels too tight—especially if your arm or leg is becoming numb—loosen it slightly after one or two hours.

1 day later

If there is a crepe bandage around the wound, you may remove it.

3 days later

Remove the plastic dressing and any padding underneath. You may need to gently wet the padding to ease it off. You may shower normally and get water on the wound, but do not immerse the area in water (e.g. swimming, baths) until the stitches have been removed. Leave any tape on the wound until you have your stitches removed. You can shower as normal and gently pat the area dry. If the tape comes off, replace it with Steri-strips or Micropore tape.

If you wish, you can return to the clinic for low level light therapy. This is a light-based treatment which accelerates wound healing and may reduce scarring. (Please note that there is an extra fee for low level light therapy.)

If you have a medicated silicone gel, e.g. Epicyn or Stratamed, apply it gently three times daily. You can apply it over the top of your Steri-Strips.

5-7 days later

Pathology results should be available. Depending on the arrangements you have made with your doctor, check your email and/or text messages. Your result will be available in writing, together with further information and advice from your doctor, via the MoleScope/Dermengine website and app.

If the pathology result shows a serious skin cancer or anything complicated and difficult to explain and understand in writing, the doctor will call you to discuss the results before releasing them to you in writing.

Return for a second post-procedure session of low level light therapy.

Until your stitches are removed

Remember: Don’t stretch the area. Avoid heavy lifting or sudden movements.

Shower as usual, but don’t put the wound underwater.

Keep tape over the wound. Unless instructed otherwise, no dressing other than the tapes is necessary.

Continue applying Epicyn or Stratamed three times daily.

5-21 days later (depending on your doctor's advice)

Return to Spot Check Clinic to have your stitches removed.

Your doctor will have advised how many days your stitches should stay in. This may vary from 5 days for some wounds on the face to 2 weeks or longer for wounds on the back.

2-3 months

Your skin takes several months to return to maximum strength. Continue to avoid stretching and heavy lifting for at least 2-3 weeks.

To minimise scarring, you can continue to tape the wound and/or use silicone gel (Epicyn, Dermatix, Kelocote or Strataderm) twice daily for the next 2-3 months.

If you wish, massage the wound twice daily for about 10 minutes at a time      

Do not use vitamin E cream. There is no evidence that it promotes wound healing.

How to reduce scarring

After the stitches are removed, there's still a lot you can do to reduce the amount of scarring.

  • Avoid stretching the area for another few weeks
  • Apply silicone gel daily
  • Massage the wound after the surface if the skin has healed

More information...