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Non-selective Methods Of Debridement


  • Wound debridement removes necrotic (dead) and poorly healing tissues from a wound. It is usually done to start wound healing. It is also done to check for infection or unwanted tunnels under the skin. Bone and other deep tissue infections may also be found when doing debridement. With debridement, dead tissues, and sometimes even normal healthy tissues, are removed slowly and little by little from the wound. Your caregiver may use chemicals for debridement, which may include iodine, hypochlorites, and hydrogen peroxide. Mechanical methods may include the use of special bandages, high-pressure irrigation, or pulsed lavage. Some methods of wound debridement may take longer than others before a wound begins to heal.
  • Certain factors decrease the ability of a wound to heal. These factors include old age, poor nutrition, and medicines such as steroids. Other factors include diseases such as diabetes (high sugar levels in the blood), and blocked arteries. Stress, smoking, and lack of exercise may cause delayed healing. Not drinking enough liquids and not eating healthy foods may also lead to poor wound healing. Having your wound debrided may start wound healing, heal wounds faster, decrease pain, and prevent other problems.


Take your medicine as directed.

Call your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him 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.

  • Antibiotics: This medicine is given to fight or prevent an infection caused by bacteria. Always take your antibiotics exactly as ordered by your healthcare provider. Do not stop taking your medicine unless directed by your healthcare provider. Never save antibiotics or take leftover antibiotics that were given to you for another illness.
  • Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
    • Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
    • Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell caregivers if your pain does not decrease.
    • Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.

Ask for information about where and when to go for follow-up visits:

For continuing care, treatments, or home services, ask for more information.

Caring for your wound:

Wounds must be free of germs, such as bacteria and viruses, to help them heal. Do the following to help your wound heal:

  • Do not let your wounds get wet. Always keep your wounds clean and dry. When you are allowed to bathe or shower, carefully wash the wound with soap and water. After washing it, pat it dry with a clean towel. Ask your caregiver what else you should do to care for your wound.
  • Limit movements such as stretching, to prevent bleeding, shearing, and swelling in the wound.
  • Protect the wound from direct sunlight for at least six months to avoid burning your skin. If the wound area looks dry and scaly, keep it moist by applying lotion to it. Ask your caregiver what lotion is best for your skin.

Other ways to help wounds heal:

  • Eat foods high in protein, such as meat, eggs and dairy products, to help repair tissue. Carbohydrate-rich foods, such as bread and cereals, are needed for cell growth, and help decrease wound infection. Eating foods with high calories and rich in zinc, such as meats, seafood (especially oysters), and liver, may also help healing. Taking vitamins A and C help collagen formation and increase scar tissue strength. Avoid caffeine. Caffeine causes blood vessels to constrict (get small). This carries less oxygen to body tissues and delays healing. Caffeine may be found in coffee, tea, soda, and sports foods and drinks. Ask your caregiver for more information about foods that may help wound healing.
  • Avoid smoking cigars, pipes and cigarettes. Smoking decreases the ability of new blood vessels to form on the wound site, and delays healing.
  • Certain medicines, such as steroids and blood thinners, may delay wound healing. Ask your caregiver for more information about medicines that may delay healing.
  • If you have certain diseases, such as diabetes (high blood sugar), take your medicines regularly, and carefully control your blood sugar. People with diabetes may have poor wound healing. Ask your caregiver for help managing your diabetes.


  • You have a fever.
  • You have questions about your medicine or care.


  • Your skin becomes red, itchy, and swollen.
  • You have bad smelling discharge coming out from your wound.
  • Your bandage becomes soaked with blood.
  • Your wound is more painful, and the pain does not go away.
  • You have fever, heart rate lower than 100 beats per minute, and have low blood pressure.

Further information

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Learn more about Non-selective Methods Of Debridement (Aftercare Instructions)

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