Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"When are you supposed to take a bandage off after an injection?"
My doctor gave me an injection. I guess it was a vaccination? Now there is a little bandage over the injection site. How long should I leave that there? Will it get infected if I take it off to early?
You can take that bandage off whenever you would like. A vaccination or other type of shot produces such a small wound in your skin that infection is very unlikely. The health care professional that administered the shot should have swabbed your skin down with some alcohol prior to give you the shot. This would have killed all the bacteria in the area. In addition, the needle used for the shot is sterile meaning there are no living things attached to it. Thus when the needle entered your skin, theoretically no bacteria made it in. The bandage would not help prevent infection even if there was a risk. The purpose of the bandage after a shot is to prevent bleeding on whatever shirt or pants you are wearing. After a few minutes, any bleeding that occurred or would have occurred stopped. At that time, you can wipe the site clean of any dried blood and remove the bandage. If you are unsure of what you should do, or if you develop severe pain, swelling, or redness in the area of the shot, you should return to see your primary care doctor. Complications of shots should not be ignored, and any of these signs would be considered a complication.
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