Steri-Strips are self-adhesive suture strips that are used to keep small or superficial wounds closed so that they can heal. Before applying Steri-Strips to your wound, make sure the skin is clean and dry on the outside. When applying the Steri-Strips, make sure they are parallel to each other and that you are covering the wound. After applying the Steri-Strips, keep the wound area dry. If the adhesive strips are difficult to remove, you can soak them in warm water so that they are easier to peel off.
Part 1 of 3: Prepare the skin around the wound area
Step 1. Clean and dry an area two inches (two centimeters) around the wound area
You should remove any blood or dirt by rubbing the area with alcohol or a gentle skin cleanser, such as Sebamed. Wet a clean cotton ball with the cleaner and use it to wipe the skin around the wound.
Step 2. Dry the skin completely
If your skin is too damp, the glue may not hold properly. Pat the skin area dry with a dry, clean towel or rag.
Step 3. Apply a tincture to increase adhesion
A benzoin tincture can help increase the adhesion between your skin and the Steri-Strip. Apply a few drops of the tincture to a cotton swab and wipe it over the area of skin next to your wound.
Part 2 of 3: Place the adhesive strips
Step 1. Peel the Steri-Strips off the box
You should peel each and every strip of tape off the box by sliding your index finger under the end and then pulling up on the strip. You can peel off the Steri-Strips individually or three at a time by sliding your index, middle and ring fingers under the ends of three strips.
Step 2. Hold the wound edges together on both sides
Place the index finger of your hand that is not holding the Steri-Strips on one side of the wound. Then place the thumb of the same hand on the other side of the wound and pinch it together.
Step 3. Start in the middle of the wound
By taping the first suture strip in the middle of the wound, you ensure that the wound is closed evenly. Starting from this first adhesive strip in the middle, you can then stick on the remaining Steri-Strips. It doesn't matter whether you continue to the right or left of it first (or up or down).
Step 4. Press the Steri-Strip into place
While holding the wound closed, place one end of the Steri-Strip over the wound. Push it down while you pull the Steri-Strip over the wound and tape the other end of the Steri-Strip underneath the wound. The ends of the Steri-Strip should be the same length above and below the wound.
Step 5. Place the following Steri-Strips parallel to each other
How many Steri-Strips you need depends on the size of your wound. There should be a space of about three millimeters between the Steri-Strips and they should all be attached in the same way. Apply enough Steri-Strips so that the wound is closed completely and across the course of the wound.
Step 6. Place adhesive strips parallel to the wound over the edges of the already attached Steri-Strips
The Steri-Strips, which are attached parallel to the wound, prevent the original Steri-Strips from coming off. This will ensure that your wound has enough time to heal before the Steri-Strips begin to loosen. Place these adhesive strips an inch from the edge of the original Steri-Strips.
Part 3 of 3: Taking care of the Steri-Strips
Step 1. Leave the Steri-Strips on for three to five days for head wounds
Most head wounds heal faster than wounds on other parts of the body. Check the Steri-Strips daily to make sure the ends aren't peeling off. If they come off, stick another steri-strip parallel to the wound to hold the ends in place.
Step 2. Leave the Steri-Strips on for 10-14 days on cuts on joints
Wounds on joints are the slowest to heal because the movement of the joints constantly rips open the wound. Leave the Steri-Strips on for 10-14 days.
Step 3. Leave the Steri-Strips on all other wounds for five to ten days
If your wound is neither on your head nor on a joint, then you should leave the Steri-Strips on for five to ten days. As your wound heals, it will turn light pink in color. Check the wound color before removing the Steri-Strips.
Step 4. Keep the wound dry until the Steri-Strips are removed
If you get the adhesive strips wet in any way, they can peel off. Keep the wound dry for as long as you want the Steri-Strips to remain on the wound. You can shower as long as you keep the wound dry.
If you cannot keep the wound dry, you will need to wash with a sponge until the wound has completely healed
Step 5. Remove the Steri-Strips by moistening them with warm water
At the end of the period that the Steri-Strips must remain on the wound, it will be easy to peel them off gently. If they can only be removed with resistance, then soak a washcloth in warm water and gently press the cloth onto the Steri-Strips for five to ten minutes. As soon as you remove the washcloth, you should be able to peel off the adhesive plaster. If not, re-wet the Steri-Strips.
- Don't use Steri-Strips on deep wounds or dirty wounds that you can't clean. See a doctor for these types of wounds.
- Do not tear off Steri-Strips. The glue on the Steri-Strips is very strong and can tear your skin.