How to Care for Steri-Strips: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Care for Steri-Strips A Step-by-Step Guide

Steri-Strips, also known as skin closure strips, are adhesive strips used to close small wounds or surgical incisions. They are commonly used as they provide a non-invasive method of wound closure that can result in less scarring compared to traditional stitches. Proper care of Steri-Strips is essential to ensure optimal healing and to minimize the risk of infection. This guide provides detailed instructions on how to care for Steri-Strips, along with answers to frequently asked questions.

Step 1: Understand When to Use Steri-Strips

Steri-Strips are typically used for minor cuts and surgical incisions that:

  • Are straight and have smooth edges.
  • Are not under a lot of tension or located in high-movement areas.

Consult with a healthcare professional to determine if Steri-Strips are appropriate for your specific wound.

Step 2: Keep the Area Clean

Frequency: Clean the wound area daily unless advised otherwise by a healthcare provider. Method:

  • Gently wash the area with soap and water. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide or alcohol as these can irritate the skin and delay healing.
  • Pat the area dry with a clean towel. Do not rub as this can dislodge the strips.

Step 3: Keep the Area Dry

After Cleaning:

  • Allow the area to air dry completely before covering it with any dressings or clothes. Bathing:
  • Try to keep the Steri-Strips dry during showers. You can cover the area with a waterproof dressing or use a plastic wrap as a barrier.
  • Avoid soaking the area in baths, pools, or hot tubs until it is fully healed.

Step 4: Monitor for Signs of Infection

What to Look For:

  • Increased redness, swelling, or warmth around the wound.
  • Pus or a bad odor coming from the wound.
  • Increased pain or sensitivity.
  • Fever or feeling unwell.

Contact your healthcare provider if you notice any signs of infection.

Step 5: Allow the Steri-Strips to Fall Off Naturally


  • Steri-Strips typically fall off on their own within 7 to 14 days. Note:
  • Do not pull or peel the strips off. If they do not fall off after two weeks, you can gently remove them following your healthcare provider’s instructions.

Step 6: Protect the Area from Sunlight


  • Protecting the healing skin from direct sunlight can help prevent hyperpigmentation and promote better cosmetic outcomes. How:
  • Cover the area with clothing or use a sunscreen recommended by your healthcare provider.


Q: Can I apply lotion or ointment over Steri-Strips?

A: It is generally advised not to apply any creams, lotions, or ointments over the Steri-Strips unless directed by a healthcare provider, as they can loosen the adhesive.

Q: What should I do if the edges of the Steri-Strips start to peel off?

A: If the edges lift but the strip is still adhering well in the middle, you can trim the lifted edges with sterile scissors but leave the rest in place.

Q: How do I know if my wound needs Steri-Strips instead of stitches?

A: Only a healthcare professional can accurately determine the appropriate treatment for a wound. If in doubt, always seek medical advice.


Caring for wounds with Steri-Strips is a straightforward process that can be managed at home with proper guidance. Following these steps ensures effective healing and helps prevent complications such as infections. Always follow the advice of your healthcare provider and contact them if you have concerns about your wound’s healing process.

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