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 skin graft. It was placed by your healthcare provider 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 after your surgery, fluid from your wound will drain through the Xeroform. This is normal. Xeroform is meant to stay moist.

  • The donor site will be painful until it is dry. Take pain medicine as directed by your healthcare provider.

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

  • About 7 to 14 days after the dressing was placed, it will start to lift off at the edges.

  • 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

  • Bathe or shower daily.

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

  • Change dressing as instructed 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.

  • Don't cover the Xeroform with other dressings. You don’t have to worry that it will fall off.


Make a follow-up appointment, or as advised.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • 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 chills

  • Increasing pain

  • Bleeding