Showering after Plastic Surgery

By Sheryl Pilcher on May 09, 2018

Profile photo of woman’s torso, abdomen, and thighsFollowing any cosmetic surgery treatment, it is important to keep the surgical sites clean. However, in most cases, patients will be asked to avoid showering for approximately 48 hours after the procedure. 

Here, our team at Accent Plastic Surgery in San Antonio, TX discusses showering after plastic surgery. We offer a few tips and tricks to make your recovery period quick and comfortable. 

The First 48 Hours

Since you are unable to shower for the first 48 hours, you may be wondering how to keep yourself clean for the first two days. We recommend taking a sponge bath. 

Simply fill a basin or bucket with lukewarm water and clean yourself using mild soap and a sponge or soft washcloth. Use of hot water should be avoided, as it can cause the incision lines to itch and become uncomfortable. 

We also recommend using a fragrance-free, antibacterial cleanser. It should be noted that if surgical drains have been placed, you may be asked to avoid showering until the drains are removed. 

Because you must stretch to wash your hair, this activity should be avoided for the first two days as well. However, if you desire, a friend or family member can shampoo your hair for you. 

Avoid the Bathtub

After the first 48 hours have passed, you will be able to take a shower. It is important to note that taking a bath or immersing yourself in a hot tub or pool should be avoided, as these activities can expose your incisions to bacteria and infection. In most cases, patients will be able to take baths again approximately two weeks following surgery. 

Showering Tips and Tricks

When it is finally time to take a shower, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you enjoy a comfortable recovery. For example:

  • Shower quickly for the first few days. Doing so will help you avoid healing issues around the incision sites. Long showers may also make patients feel faint. Therefore, quick showers are best.
  • Use antibacterial soap until the wounds have completely healed.
  • Clean the incision sites gently with a soft, clean cloth to reduce the risk for infection. 
  • Avoid scrubbing or rubbing the incision sites, as this can cause them to re-open.
  • Shower in lukewarm water. Although hot showers can be tempting, excessive heat can increase the risk for inflammation and swelling.
  • Try to keep your incision lines out of the direct spray of water. If necessary, adjust the water pressure or cover the area with a waterproof plastic bag.
  • Once your shower is complete, pat yourself dry. Do not rub around the incision, as this can re-open the site and cause infection. 

These tips are basic recommendations. You will also be provided with a complete list of post-treatment instructions, which should be followed closely.

When to Contact Your Surgeon

If you notice any signs of infection, contact your doctor right away. This could be indicated by fever, draining, excessive swelling, or increased redness around the surgical site.

Contact Our Practice to Learn More

If you are considering plastic surgery or if you have already undergone a procedure, knowing what to expect during recovery can help alleviate fears and worries. To learn more about post-operative tips, reach out to one of our team members. You can schedule a consultation by contacting us online or calling our office at (210) 654-9900.

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San Antonio Office

255 E Sonterra Blvd
Ste 201
San Antonio, TX 78258

More Info Directions (210) 654-9900