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My Ps Told Me to Take my Steri Strips off but They Are Stuck to my Skin. How Do I Get Them Off?

Doctor Answers 10

Steristrips Removal Is Straight Forward

Thank you for your question. I understand that you are concerned about hurting your incision.  This is unlikely,  For your comfort, it is best to wet the strips in a warm shower.  This should loosen them and any dried blood on the incision causing them to stick.  Going forward, keep you incision clean and dry. Apply antibiotic ointment to any open areas and cover with a bandaid.  There is no harm in leaving them on to fall off on their own or to return to the office to have them removed by a nurse. Best wishes.

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Steri Strips

Usually if you moisten them in the shower, they will come off more easily.

Otherwise there is little chance of harm to leave them until they fall off on their own.

Best wishes. 

Steri-strips can be loosened with warm water.

If you are permitted to shower, allow the water to gently moisten and warm the steri-strips.  They will come up easily at that point.

Vincent N. Zubowicz, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Steri Strip Removal

If the steri-strips do not pull off easily, there are several maneuvers you may try at home.  Soaking them with soap and water in the bath or shower may help to loosen them.   If this does not work you may try rubbing alcohol, but I would only do this under the advisement of your plastic surgeon since your wound needs to be sufficiently healed.  When I remove steri-strips in my office, I typically use a product called Detachol (Ferndale Laboratories) which is a medical grade adhesive remover.  I have found that use of this product allows the steri-strips to peel off with ease.  Good luck!

Mark Schwartz, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 16 reviews

Baby oil for steri strips

Baby oil can soften the glue that causes the steri strips to stick. Rub on the baby oil, let it sit for a few minutes, then give it a try.  Another alternative already mentioned is to use warm water in the shower.

Steri strips can be taken off in the shower


Thank you for the question.  There is no harm in leaving the steri strips on in they fall off on their own.  If you would like to removed them skin adhesive remover works well or taking them off in the shower is also very helpful.

All the best,

Dr Remus Repta

Remus Repta, MD
Scottsdale Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 111 reviews

Stuck steristrips

I advise patients to allow the steristrips to loosen up until they come off without placing tension on the wound. It should be easier to loosen them in the shower. Otherwise, I am sure that your plastic surgeon would be glad to remove them for you.

Robert L. Kraft, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Taking Steri Strips off after Tummy Tuck

        Steristrips will usually come off in the shower, but they can be quite resilient.  Do not force them off.  If you cannot get in touch with your doctor's office during the holidays, do not worry.  Whether these fall off today or three days later matters little

Removing steri-strips

In general, it is easier to take the steri-strips off when they are wet, such as after a shower. Some surgeons apply an adhesive to the skin before applying the steri-strips, which helps them stick and stay on longer. You can use an adhesive remover (from your plastic surgeons office) on your skin, starting at one end of the steristrip and applying to the skin as you peel the tape back. If you are having difficulty removing the steri-strips even when wet or with adhesive remover, ask your surgeon to help you remove them.

Anita Patel, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Removing Steri Strips?

Thank you for your question.

Sometimes, applying hydrogen peroxide on the steri strips helps with their removal (soak the tape until it come off easily).  You may want to call your surgeon's office to see if they have any other advice for you.

Best wishes.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.