The local anaesthetic may take up to six hours to wear off.
If any part of your mouth remains numb, you must be careful drinking hot fluids, in case you burn yourself without knowing.
As the anaesthetic begins to wear off, you may need to take a pain-relieving medicine. Paracetamol taken regularly for 24 to 48 hours should be sufficient. Over the counter painkillers contain Codeine or Ibuprofen may be an alternative.
Looking after your wound
You have a wound which has not been stitched or surgically repaired. It has been left to heal on its own. This is quite safe and often gives a better result than a surgical repair with stitches.
If your wound is on the head or face, a small plug or pack will have been placed in the wound. Small tapes or strips may have been applied to keep in place. If these come loose, do not worry. The wound can be left open to the air after 24 hours but should be kept moist to improve healing.
Do not be alarmed by the size of the apparent hole or if your wound appears black. You will be surprised how effectively the wound will heal by shrinking over the next few weeks. It will weep for a couple of days before scabbing over. During this period you may find it more convenient to apply a small sticking plaster to cover the area but Vaseline should be sufficient protection.
If your wound is on the arm or leg, swelling can be reduced and the healing process improved if the limb is not hung down for 48 hours. A sling will elevate an arm. Legs should be elevated by sitting most of the time with the foot resting on a stool level with your bottom.
Follow up appointments
Before you leave the unit you will be given an appointment for a week’s time to have your wound reviewed. If you were not given an appointment, please ring the unit to arrange one.
If a specimen from your skin has been sent for analysis in the pathology laboratory, the results will not be available at the dressing visit. The nursing staff will not normally be able to talk to you about results. Specimen results will be reviewed by your consultant. Once they have done this you will either be written to or be seen as a follow-up visit in the outpatients department.
Care of the scar
It is not possible to operate on the skin without leaving a scar. However we would anticipate your scars to be minimal.
The quality and appearance of a scar depends partly on how deep the wound was and partly on how you, as a person, make scar tissue. You may be someone who makes a very good, or a very bad scar.
Once the wound has completely healed it is a good idea to spend time rubbing simple moisturising cream into the scar. A massaging action should be used once or twice a day to rub the cream in. this will help the scar soften and redness settle over weeks or months when the moisturising can be stopped.
Sometimes complications do occur which can delay wound healing. If this happens, frequent dressings may be required until the wound has healed.
Signs of a wound problem include bleeding, severe throbbing pain despite painkillers, a smelly discharge from the area or spreading redness.
What to do if you have a problem or are worried
If there is a problem with your wound or you are simply worried, do not hesitate to contact Dermatology outpatients on: 01642 854722.
If the problem cannot be solved over the telephone you may be invited to return to the department, or asked to see your GP as soon as possible.
South Tees Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust would like your feedback. If you wish to share your experience about your care and treatment or on behalf of a patient, please contact The Patient Experience Department who will advise you on how best to do this.
This service is based at The James Cook University Hospital but also covers the Friarage Hospital in Northallerton, our community hospitals and community health services.
To ensure we meet your communication needs please inform the Patient Experience Department of any special requirements, for example; braille or large print.
T: 01642 835964
E: [email protected]