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How do I take care of my biopsy site?


1. If you have a bandage, please leave your bandage on overnight. Starting the next day, cleanse your wound with mild soap and water and gently pat dry. Avoid soaking in bath or dishwater.
2. Apply petroleum jelly, Aquaphor, or Aveeno Healing Ointment to the wound after cleaning the wound and, as needed, throughout the day to keep the area moist and prevent a scab from forming.
3. Cover the wound with a Band-Aid or appropriate dressing.
4. For pain, you may take acetaminophen (extra or regular strength), 2 tablets every four hours as needed for pain. Do not exceed the recommended limit on the directions. Avoid ibuprofen containing products or related products (Motrin, Advil, Aleve, aspirin, etc) unless prescribed/recommended by your physician.
5. Oftentimes, the site can develop a pink halo with a yellow "gooey" or "crusty" center. Please see below for signs/symptoms to notify your physician.
6. Avoid any trauma of activity that may open your surgical wound.

Suture removal for punch biopsies:

Stitches that don't dissolve will need to be removed. A health care provider can remove them, or you can do it yourself. Follow the schedule below for the removal of stitches:

- For the face—5 to 7 days after the biopsy
- For the trunk, arms, and legs—10 to 14 days after the biopsy
- For the scalp—7 to 10 days after the biopsy

Suture removal for other excisions or other procedure:
Have your stitches removed in _________________ days.

If you plan to have your stitches removed at Illinois Dermatology Institute The Chicago Loop, please make an appointment for a nursing visit accordingly. If you have not received your biopsy results in two weeks, contact your physician.

Notify your physician if you have:

Bleeding that does not stop after 20 minutes of continuous pressure.
Yellowish/greenish discharge from the treated area
Increasing tenderness or pain
Warmth of the area and/or fever over 101 F
Red streaks up the arm or leg close to the treated area

Please call us with any questions about your care.