Often surgical wounds and stitches need to be kept dry to heal effectively. This can make showering or swimming a difficult task. If your doctor allows you to shower or swim then here’s how you can do this safely using waterproof pads or some other products to cover the stitches from getting wet.
Using waterproof pads before you get into the shower or go for a swim, apply a waterproof bandage like the band-aid brand first-air waterproof pads on your stitches. When applying this bandage make sure that it’s sealed all through the sides so no water gets inside and comes in contact with the wound. Once you’re done swimming or showering dry yourself and the bandage area thoroughly. Then remove the bandage slowly and carefully and immediately discard it into a garbage bag.
There are some other kinds of products that will also do the same thing for you and even more effectively. If you want to know more about those products go read the How To Keep Stitches Dry While Swimming full article right now.
How To Keep Stitches Dry While Swimming
With any wound with stitches in it, first and foremost it is very important to follow the doctor’s advice. Depending on what your underlying procedure was you need to be careful with it. Even though it is recommended that, one with a wound or stitch needs to be away from water for at least 2 to 3 weeks or until the wound heals or the dissolvable stitch dissolves.
But some cool products on the market can help you keep your stitches from getting wet if you are taking a shower or swimming in the pool. Let’s discuss some of those products:
The shower boot is a water-proof patch that is very easy to apply and will keep your wounds or stitches dry in case you need a shower or get into the pool for swimming.
This kind of patch works great if you have an incision on your leg or Thai area. To use this patch on top of your stitches get it out of the box and put it over the patient’s foot or leg and then bring the strap to the front and fold the excess plastic and begin to wrap.
As you’re wrapping you pull the strap; you have to make sure the top of the boot is covered, as the strap is the water barrier. Once it’s done squeeze it and now you can take a shower or take a swim. Once you finish your swimming go ahead and towel dry the leg and undo the strap and throw it in the appropriate container.
Transparent Wound Dressing Roll
There are different kinds of transparent wound dressing rolls available on the market which are made of flexible plastic that helps any wounded or stitched area to protect from water. You can use this kind of strip anywhere on your body. Usually, these are ideal for use in the retention of primary care dressing.
To use these you need to measure stitch size and cut the strip accordingly. Then place the strip on the stitch and peel the hard plastic from the top which will uncover the transparent layer of adhesive that you can tear off from your skin without any pain.
You’ll witness after surgery that you have a proficient wrap with some gauze layers underneath. You need to keep that place for three to five days or more. But after that time you’ll need to remove these and put some waterproof bandages over your wounds. So begin by removing the ace wrap setting that aside and then remove the gauge.
Remove your gauze role first and then remove those four-by-four-inch gauze bandages underneath. All of these can be disposed of. Now you’ll see your wounds with sutures. To waterproof that area start by taking the waterproof bandages; whatever size seems appropriate and place that over each wound.
You’ll see that one side is paper, and the other side is plastic. You’ll have to begin by removing the top paper layers on the bottom side which will reveal the gauge pad in the middle and some adhesive around the edges.
Carefully place this over the stitches so that it covers the area nicely. Now remove the other plastic baking from the top. So this way your wound will be covered and you can take a shower or swim.
How Long Can You Not Swim After Stitches?
This is a question that patients frequently ask especially in the summer times. The answer is always different from one situation to another and also the kind of incision you have.
In the case of smaller stitches, you need to wait at least one week before the wound heals or the stitch dissolves. But for more severe stitches you need to wait for at least three to four weeks before you could even consider doing that.
Because you want to have the incisions completely sealed up; no open areas, no stitches poking or no infections happening, or anything like that. It’s just not predictable before that time frame.
Some surgeries are especially more involved ones, it can even be four to six weeks before you can go back to the water, and that all depends on wound healing.
It depends on how you’re getting along after things and it’s important to talk to your doctor ahead of time and make sure that you know what the expectations are. But realize those expectations can change.
So don’t be rigidly fixed on exactly when you’re going to be able to do that but plan at least four to six weeks before you’d feel comfortable safely swimming.
How Do You Cover Up Stitches When Swimming
To cover up stitches when swimming you can use Tegaderm+ Pad film on the surface. It will take not more than 30 seconds to apply to your body and it’s watertight. It’s an all-in-one protective layer that provides a viral and bacterial guardrail. To apply it:
- First, ripe the packaging of the pad
- Then take out the pad
- Now peel off the plastic underlayer of the pad
- Gently place the pad on the stitch and press lightly with your hands so it sticks nicely with the skin and there is no bump on the sides
- Now peel the plastic cover from the top sides and it will reveal the transparent patch
- Now you can carefully go for a swim
How To Keep Stitches Dry While Showering
If you have an active wound or stitch on your body but you are in dire need of a shower then there is a way that you can do that without wetting your stitched area. For this purpose, you can use a painter’s mask made by 3m and they are very much available in any paint department stores. It has a highly adhesive painter’s tape at the top. All you have to do is:
Measure the length and width of your incision and then cut the painter’s mask according to the measurement.
Or you can directly wrap the mask around the part of your incision. After one full wrap cut the mask with scissors.
Make sure all those areas are sealed. Now remove the protective layer of the tape and directly tape it to your skin. It will not do any harm.
Now unfold the plastic downwards all the way. Now use the other taped end to close the end part tightly. This way no water will be able to get inside.
Pat dry your body after the shower and the plastic and gently peel it off from the skin.
Can You Swim In A Chlorinated Pool With Stitches?
Usually, even if you don’t have any wounds on your body, chlorine water can be dangerous for your skin. The reason for this is that our skin is the largest semi-permeable membrane that we have in our bodies. What that means is, that it’s able to absorb things and expel things. So when you swim in chlorinated water it absorbs a lot of that stuff.
Chlorine kills the good bacteria in your body. So whether you are ingesting chlorine water or swimming in it the effect will be the same. This can be even more dangerous if you have an active wound or stitch in your body. No matter how well you are coving that area, it’s going to affect and even cause severe infection at times.
So if you want to get in the pool for a quick swim, you need to consult with your doctor first and you have to wait for at least 3 to 4 weeks depending on the stitch, or until the stitch dissolves.
How Long After Dissolvable Stitches Can I Swim
There are different kinds of dissolvable sutures. So they range from suture that lasts a week or so, which is very quickly dissolving suture used in faces, in children, or on the skin surface. But for severe kinds of wounds, the dissolvable suture might take a couple of weeks to dissolve. It is recommended that you wait for 3 to 4 weeks with dissolvable stitches before going back to swim.
Why Can’t I Swim With Stitches?
It is not safe by any means to swine or take a shower when you have an active wound or stitch on your body. Because the water will irritate the area and might cause infection. When it comes to swimming it can be even more dangerous because pool water contains chlorine that kills the good bacteria in your body. So by all means you need to allow your stitches to heal all the way.
Can You Swim With Fresh Stitches?
No, of course not. You can not even take a shower or sponge bath when you have fresh stitches on your body.
Can You Swim With Stitches In Your Finger?
If your stitch is not fresh then you can just cover the area of your finger where you have stitches to take a quick swim.
Can You Swim In A Pool With Stitches?
Yes, you can. If the stitch is not fresh and you have covered the area with protective bandage layers you can swim. But not for a very long time and you need to dry your body before peeling off the protective bandage layer.
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Swimming, while you have stitches or any active wound on your body, is not an ideal time. You need to wait for at least several weeks or until the stitch dissolves completely before you even take a quick bath without any protective cover. So use any of these products in case of emergencies while taking a bath or swimming in the pool.