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Debridement is the removal of infected, damaged, or dead tissue so a wound can heal properly. You may need more than one debridement.



  • Medicines can help decrease pain or prevent or treat an infection.
  • Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.

Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:

You may need to return to have your wound checked. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.

Care for your wound as directed:

  • Keep your wound clean and dry. You may need to cover your wound when you bathe.
  • Limit movements, such as stretching, to prevent bleeding, tearing, and swelling in your wound.
  • Protect your wound. Avoid sunlight for at least 6 months. Apply mild, unscented lotion or cream to the skin around your wound to keep it moist.
  • Do not smoke. If you smoke, it is never too late to quit. Smoking decreases blood flow to the wound and delays healing. Ask for information if you need help quitting.
  • Drink liquids as directed. Ask how much liquid to drink each day and which liquids are best for you. Liquids help keep your skin moist so your wound can heal.
  • Eat a variety of healthy foods. Foods rich in protein, such as meat, eggs, and dairy products, help repair tissue. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread and cereals, help increase cell growth and decrease the risk for wound infection. Do not have caffeine. Ask if you should take vitamins. Vitamins A and C may help tissue formation and increase scar tissue strength.

Contact your healthcare provider if:

  • You have a fever.
  • Your pain gets worse or does not go away, even after treatment.
  • Your skin is red, swollen, or draining pus.
  • You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.

Seek care immediately or call 911 if:

  • Blood soaks through your bandage.
  • You have severe pain.

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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.

Learn more about Debridement (Discharge Care)

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Further information

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