Cosmetic Surgery Tips

When Can I Remove Steri Strips After Breast Augmentation

You’ve made the decision to remove your Steri Strips and are ready to get started. But how do you know when it’s time? We’ve got the answer: keep your eye on the clock!

The average time for a patient to remove their Steri Strips is 7 to 10 days, but it can vary widely from patient to patient. Some patients have been able to remove their Steri Strips within 24 hours of their procedure, while others have taken up to a week. The key thing is that everyone reacts differently, so it’s important to follow your doctor’s instructions and take it easy for the first few days after surgery. If you feel any pain or discomfort when removing your Steri Strips, don’t hesitate—stop what you’re doing and call your doctor immediately!

This article provides answers to questions such as can you get steri strips wet and when to remove steri strips after a C section.

When Can I Remove Steri Strips After Breast Augmentation

Frequently Asked Questions: Steri-Strips

At Cosmeticsurgerytips, it’s very important to us to provide you with all the resources and support you’ll need to feel comfortable and confident throughout your surgical journey.

We’ve put together this FAQ to answer all your questions about the wound tape that is applied post-surgery. We use steri-strips and brown or white paper tape interchangeably—the below answers apply to all of these different types of wound tape.

1. What is the purpose of the steri-strips?

• Steri-strips reinforce the sutures and maintain the correct moisture balance underneath to promote healing.
• Steri-strips also serve as a protection for the incision, keeping it covered and clean and preventing friction against the fragile incision.

2. Can You Get Steri Strips Wet

• In most cases, the incision/steri-strips area should be kept dry until 3-5 days after the procedure.
• If the incision/steri-strips become wet before that time, pat dry with towel or use a gentle hairdryer on cool to dry them.

3. How long should I leave the steri-strips on for?

• Steri-strips should stay on between 10-14 days if they are placed on the trunk or extremities, and 5-7 days if they are placed on the face or neck.
• The steri-strips should not stay on more than 14 days. If they haven’t fallen off by day 14, you should remove them yourself.

4. What if they come off on their own sooner? What if I take them off too early by accident?

◦ If the steri-strips fall off before your first post-op appointment, you can replace them with new steri-strips from the pharmacy. Paper tape is also a very good substitute.
◦ If you cannot cover with new strips or tape, keep the area clean and protect from anything rubbing against it with a Band-Aid.

5. What if I am itchy?

• Incisions may feel itchy as they heal; this is normal. Don’t scratch them. If the itchiness gets worse instead of better, call the office. Sometimes, changing the steri-strips and cleaning the incision gently can help.

6. Is it possible I am allergic to steri-strips?

• Allergic reactions to steri-strips are rare, however if you feel that you may have developed an allergic reaction to steri-strips please contact the office.

7. What should I do if there is blood on the strips?

• You may notice old/dried blood underneath the steri-strips; this is normal. If you notice continuous bright red blood leaking from the sides of the steri-strips, please contact the office and we will provide you with further instructions.

8. What if there is something wrong under the steri-strips and I don’t see it?

• If there is something wrong under the steri-strips, it would very often be accompanied by other symptoms such as redness, tenderness and or severe pain.

9. Should I apply antibacterial ointment (e.g. Polysporin) on top of the steri-strips?

• This is of no benefit — in fact, applying anything on top of the steri-strips will melt the glue, causing the steri-strips to come off prematurely.

10. What do I do after the steri-strips fall off?

• Once the steri-strips are off, you can use Polysporin or Vaseline for a couple of days to clean up the incision. You can then start applying the Scar Recovery Gel, unless otherwise instructed.

11. Should I keep the steri-strips covered?

• The steri-strips do not need to be covered.

12. When To Remove Steri Strips After C Section

You are going home after a C-section. You should expect to need help caring for yourself and your newborn. Talk to your partner, parents, in-laws, or friends.

Steri-strips Still on After 3 Weeks

What to Expect at Home

You may have bleeding from your vagina for up to 6 weeks. It will slowly become less red, then pink, and then will have more of a yellow or white color. Bleeding and discharge after delivery is called lochia.

At first, your cut (incision) will be raised slightly and pinker than the rest of your skin. It will likely appear somewhat puffy.

Any pain should decrease after 2 or 3 days, but your cut will remain tender for up to 3 weeks or more.

Most women need pain medicine for the first few days to 2 weeks. Ask your provider what is safe to take while breastfeeding.

Over time, your scar will become thinner and flatter and will turn either white or the color of your skin.

You will need a checkup with your health care provider in 4 to 6 weeks.

Incision Care

If you go home with a dressing (bandage), change the dressing over your cut once a day, or sooner if it gets dirty or wet.

Your provider will tell you when to stop keeping your wound covered.

Keep the wound area clean by washing it with mild soap and water. You don’t need to scrub it. Often, just letting the water run over your wound in the shower is enough.

You may remove your wound dressing and take showers if stitches, staples, or glue were used to close your skin.

Do not soak in a bathtub or hot tub, or go swimming, until your provider tells you it is OK. In most cases, this is not until 3 weeks after surgery.

If strips (Steri-Strips) were used to close your incision:

Do not try to wash off the Steri-Strips or glue. It is OK to shower and pat your incision dry with a clean towel.

They should fall off in about a week. If they are still there after 10 days, you can remove them, unless your provider tells you not to.


Getting up and walking around once you are home will help you heal faster and can help prevent blood clots.

You should be able to do most of your regular activities in 4 to 8 weeks. Before then:

Do not lift anything heavier than your baby for the first 6 to 8 weeks.

Short walks are an excellent way to increase strength and stamina. Light housework is OK. Slowly increase how much you do.

Expect to tire easily. Listen to your body, and don’t be active to the point of exhaustion.

Avoid heavy housecleaning, jogging, most exercises, and any activities that make you breathe hard or strain your muscles. Do not do sit-ups.

Don’t drive a car for at least 2 weeks. It is OK to ride in a car, but make sure you wear your seat belt. Don’t drive if you are taking narcotic pain medicine or if you feel weak or unsafe driving.

Other Self-care

Try eating smaller meals than normal and have healthy snacks in between. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, and drink 8 cups (2 liters) of water a day to keep from getting constipated.

Any hemorrhoids you develop should slowly decrease in size. Some may go away. Methods that may help the symptoms include:

Warm tub baths (shallow enough to keep your incision above the water level).

Cold compresses over the area.

Over-the-counter pain relievers.

Over-the-counter hemorrhoid ointments or suppositories.

Bulk laxatives to prevent constipation. If necessary, ask your provider for recommendations.

Sex can begin at any time after 6 weeks. Also, be sure to talk with your provider about contraception after pregnancy. This decision should be made before you leave the hospital.

After C-sections that follow a difficult labor, some moms feel relieved. But others feel sad, disappointed, or even guilty about needing a C-section.

Many of these feelings are normal, even for women who had a vaginal birth.

Try talking with your partner, family, or friends about your feelings.

Seek help from your provider if these feelings do not go away or become worse.

When to Call the Doctor

Contact your provider if you have vaginal bleeding that:

Is still very heavy (like your menstrual period flow) after more than 4 days

Is light but lasts beyond 4 weeks

Involves the passing of large clots

Also contact your provider if you have:

Swelling in one of your legs (it will be red and warmer than the other leg)

Pain in your calf

Redness, warmth, swelling, or drainage from your incision site, or your incision breaks open

Fever greater than 100°F (37.8°C) that persists (swollen breasts may cause a mild elevation of temperature)

Increased pain in your belly

Discharge from your vagina that becomes heavier or develops a foul odor

Become very sad, depressed, or withdrawn; have feelings of harming yourself or your baby, or have trouble caring for yourself or your baby

A tender, reddened, or warm area on one breast (this may be a sign of infection)

Postpartum preeclampsia, while rare, can occur after delivery, even if you did not have preeclampsia during your pregnancy. Call your provider right away if you:

Have swelling in your hands, face, or eyes (edema)

Suddenly gain weight over 1 or 2 days, or you gain more than 2 pounds (1 kilogram) in a week

Have a headache that does not go away or becomes worse

Have vision changes, such as being unable to see for a short time, seeing flashing lights or spots, being sensitive to light, or having blurry vision

Body pain and achiness (similar to body pain that can occur with a high fever)

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