Discharge Instructions: Caring for Your Xeroform® Dressing

You are going home with a Xeroform dressing in place. Xeroform is a yellow dressing that covers your wound. It was placed by your healthcare provider in the hospital or during surgery and will stay in place until your wound is healed. You can do most of your normal activities with the dressing in place. Here's what you need to know about home care.

What to expect

  • For the first few days, fluid from your wound will drain through the Xeroform. This is normal. Xeroform is meant to stay moist.

  • The wound site may be painful until it's dry. Take pain medicine as directed by your healthcare provider.

  • As your wound heals, the Xeroform will look crusty. It may itch.

  • Once the Xeroform is removed, the wound will be pink or dark red with white flaky areas. Don't be alarmed. The pink color will go away in time.

Wound care

  • Shower daily. But don't soak the dressing in water. If the dressing gets wet, pat it dry or put on a new one. Ask your healthcare provider if you can get the dressing wet, or if it should be covered when in the shower. Don't submerge your dressing in a bath.

  • Check the wound for signs of infection, like redness, swelling, drainage, or a bad smell.

  • Change dressing as directed by your healthcare provider. Xeroform is usually changed daily so it stays moist and doesn't stick.

  • As the wound heals, use smaller pieces of the Xeroform to cover the remaining wound. Use clean scissors that you have wiped off with an alcohol swab. 

  • Apply lotion or moisturizing cream to the areas where you have trimmed off the Xeroform.

  • Follow your healthcare provider's directions about whether or not to cover the Xeroform dressing.


Make a follow-up appointment as advised.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you any of the following occur:

  • Increased redness, swelling, or warmth in the skin around the wound

  • Fluid buildup under the Xeroform

  • Bad smell coming from the wound

  • Fever above 100.4 °F (38°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Chills

  • Increasing pain

  • Bleeding

© 2000-2024 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.
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