Skin Graft Care
Care of a Skin Graft with or without a Cotton Bolster or Spandex Bolster
• Keep the grafted area elevated to prevent swelling which could damage the
new skin graft.
• Keep the bolster dry. You may clean around the bolster site by sponge
bathing with soap and water.
• Watch for signs and symptoms of infection.
o Increased redness (over 1 inch in width) and swelling around the skin graft.
o Foul smelling drainage or pus from the skin graft.
o Flu-like symptoms (fever, chills, nausea or vomiting, muscle aches)
o Increasing pain
• Take your prescribed medication to control pain.
• Activity restrictions:______________________________________________
Care of a Skin Graft after Initial Dressings Removed
• Do not start daily dressing care until approved by your doctor or
• Wash the area with mild soap and water beginning on ____ .
• Apply moisturizing lotion ______________ to keep new skin from
drying or cracking.
• Treat blisters or open areas with ______ .
• Apply Cuticerin® gauze to graft site.
• Wrap graft area with non-stretch roller gauze.
• Apply an ace bandage as directed. See Health Facts for You #____
For all Skin Grafts
• Watch for signs and symptoms of infection:
o Redness (about 1 inch in width) and swelling around the burn.
o Foul smelling drainage or pus from the wound.
o Flu-like symptoms (temperature greater than 100.4º by mouth for two
readings 4 hours apart, chills, nausea, vomiting or muscle aches).
o Increasing pain.
For question Monday through Friday 8 AM -5 PM please call the General Surgery and Burn Clinic at 608-263-7502.
If you have urgent questions or needs after hours or on weekends, call the Burn Unit Nurses at 608-263-1490 or call 608-262-2122 and ask to have the Burn resident paged.
If you have non urgent questions or needs after hours or on weekends, please leave a message for the General Surgery triage nurse at 608-890-9542.
If you live out of the area, you can call toll free at 1-800-323-8942.
Spanish version #5375
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/28/2013
Copyright © 05/28/2013 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#4404
Print Health Fact For You