scalp laceration 1Trying to suture or staple a scalp laceration is oftentimes a hairy proposition for emergency physicians who repair these types of wounds regularly. Although the “hair apposition technique” method is one option, if one opts for sutures or staples, the most difficult part of the procedure is trying to avoid trapping hair strands within the wound, which may cause wound dehiscense, a foreign body reaction, or a local infection.

Trick of the Trade: Part the hair away from the scalp laceration with petroleum-based jelly

scalp laceration jelly

A useful solution to this problem is through the use of a thick petroleum-based ointment to displace the hair to each side of the wound. Bacitracin or similar topical antibiotic derivatives can be used, as can petroleum jelly.

Jeff Wiswell, MD

Jeff Wiswell, MD

Attending physician
Department of Emergency Medicine
Mayo Clinic Health System