Informing Patients How To Care For A Wound Using Steri Strips

Steri-Strips have evolved to become an effective tool for wound closures and make an excellent alternative to stitches or other types of wound closure in some cases. However, they must be applied and removed carefully and monitored while they help a wound heal.

Clinicians advising their patients about aftercare when steri strips have been applied to a wound must inform patients how to care for steri strips and what to do if the injury doesn’t stop bleeding or shows signs of infection.

There are certain things that patients need to be made aware of for their self-care of steri strips and wound healing at home. These include:

  • How to protect the wound and steri-strip when bathing or showering
  • How to trim away loose edges of the Steri-Strip using scissors
  • Inspect the wound every day to make sure there’s no sign of infection
  • Making sure the Steri-Strip area is kept dry for at least 24 to 48 hours
  • Make sure the wound and the surrounding skin stay clean

Patients should be told never to:

  • Pull on the loose ends of a Steri-Strip as this can cause the wound to reopen
  • Rub or pick at the wound or steri strip as this could introduce bacteria or open the wound up again

How to remove a steri strip

Patients should be informed that when steri-strips are placed by their healthcare professional, the strips will fall off in time when they are ready. If your patient has a minor wound and you think it will be safe for the patient to remove the steri strip themselves once the wound has healed, then they should be advised to follow these safe removal steps:

  • Make a solution consisting of equal parts water and hydrogen peroxide
  • Soak the Steri-Strip area in this solution to loosen the adhesive’s grip on your skin
  • Gently pull the Steri-Strip off. Don’t pull too hard if it’s not lifting off easily, as this could rip off skin or open the cut again

When to seek medical help 

Patients should be advised to seek immediate medical assistance if a wound treated with steri strips:

  • Becomes more painful
  • Becomes red, swollen, or filled with pus
  • Won’t stop bleeding

Practitioner Development UK Ltd. offers three valuable related training courses for healthcare professionals that manage patient care related to wound treatments and healing. 

AR127 Acute wound management for urgent & primary care practitioners (includes treatment for infection): Face to Face

The AR127 Acute wound management course is a practical, hands-on, face-to-face workshop aimed to benefit Junior doctors, Nurse practitioners, ENPs, Practice nurses, School nurses, Allied health professionals and Paramedics.

Workshop participants with established core knowledge and skills in assessing and treating acute wounds and infections will gain experience in suturing and other wound closure techniques and learn how to review and refer different wound, burn and infection presentations.

AOL20 Minor injury essentials Online: Accredited by the RCN Centre for Professional Accreditation

This is a three-day virtual workshop based on our extremely popular Minor Injury Essentials face-to-face workshop. The workshop covers many of the same skills but is set in a virtual classroom and is ideal for busy healthcare practitioners that cannot take time out of their schedule to attend a face-to-face workshop.

The course focuses on aiding practitioners that assess and manage primary injuries to become more confident in dealing with these presentations and have a solid foundation to build upon. 

AR04 Minor injury essentials Face to Face: Accredited by the RCN Centre for Professional Accreditation

The AR04 Minor injury essentials workshop helps boost the skills of community healthcare practitioners who are now expected to include basic injury review and care in their remit. It is an ideal course for ANPs, Junior doctors, Nurse practitioners, Practice nurses, School nurses, and Allied health professionals.

The course will enable healthcare practitioners to:

  • Apply history-taking essentials, thereby promoting safe practice
  • Link and apply anatomy of upper and lower body musculoskeletal (MSK) structures to a variety of physical assessment techniques
  • Discuss appropriate management of common traumatic MSK presentations, including principles of analgesia and supportive therapy
  • Be able to examine and manage various types of wounds. To include closure techniques and patient education
  • Develop competency in some standard basic minor clinical procedures