Skin Graft (click here for a pdf version)

Please click here for a list of wound care supplies that you will need (pdf version).

  • No strenuous activity for 48 hours.

  • Resume moderate activity after 48 hours.

  • No heavy exercising until you are seen for your follow up in one week.

  • No aspirin or other over the counter products that contain aspirin and other blood thinners for 48 hours. Take Tylenol or aspirin free pain relievers as needed for discomfort.

  • Continue taking all prescribed medication.

  • No alcoholic beverages for 48 hours

  • Leave the bandage in place until you come in for follow up in one week. If the bandage becomes blood tinged or loose, reinforce it with gauze and tape.

  • Keep the bandage dry. Wash around it carefully.

  • If the tape becomes soiled or starts to come off, reinforce it with additional paper tape.

  • Do not smoke for 3 weeks; smoking is detrimental to wound healing and may cause the graft to die.

  • Avoid prolonged exposure to extremely cold temperatures for 3 weeks.

  • It is normal to have swelling and bruising around the surgical site. The bruising will fade in approximately 10-14 days. Elevate the area to reduce swelling.

  • Numbness, itchiness and sensitivity to temperature changes can occur after surgery and may take up to 18 months to normalize.


Bleeding - If this occurs do the following:

  • Leave the bandage in place.

  • Use rolled up gauze or a clean cloth to apply direct pressure over the bandage for 20 minutes straight.

  • Reapply pressure for an additional 20 minutes if necessary.

  • Call the office or go to the nearest emergency room if pressure fails to stop the bleeding.

  • Use additional gauze and tape to reinforce the bandage once the bleeding has stopped.


  • Post operative pain should slowly get better, never worse.

  • A severe increase in pain may indicate a problem. Call the office if this occurs