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HealthInfo Canterbury

Caring for your graft when you are up & about

Support stockings (Tubigrip)

If your graft is below your knee you may have to wear support stockings (Tubigrip). These need to fit firmly from your toes to just below your knee. You can leave the stockings off at night, but remember to put them on before you put your leg down from your bed

Do not fold over, roll or shorten your support stockings – this can restrict circulation and cause swelling. You can hand wash them if you need to.

When your graft is healed, continue to wear your support stockings until your doctor or nurse tells you to stop doing so.

What activities should I do?

Take it easy for two weeks or so. Do not over-exert your grafted area. Depending on where your graft is, how big it is and what your job is, you might need to take time off work – perhaps more than two weeks. Ask your GP for a medical certificate. If you need extra help to manage at home discuss this with your ward nurse, district nurse or practice nurse.

For a leg graft

FDP older couple on couch

For a hand or lower arm graft

Keep the graft raised (elevated) in a sling during the day, and keep your hand and arm up on pillows when you are resting.

Skin care

Once the grafted and donor areas are fully healed, gently massage a plain, non-medicated moisturising cream into them, one to two times a day, for two to three months. This keeps the scars soft and supple and helps them look better.

Protect grafted areas and donor sites from the sun – cover then with cotton clothing or 15+ sunscreen. Avoid synthetic fabrics, such as nylon, as these often aggravate newly healed skin.

On the next page: More information about skin grafts

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Endorsed by clinical director, Plastic Surgery Department, Canterbury DHB. Last reviewed May 2017.


Image courtesy of Ambro at

Page reference: 89628

Review key: HISGR-87518