Cuts are some of the most common injuries. Minor cuts may bleed and feel slightly painful, but the affected area will normally scab over and heal quickly. Most cuts can be easily treated at home. More severe cases may need medical attention, such as stitches to close the wound.
How to deal with minor cuts and grazes?
Minor cuts and scrapes usually don’t require a trip to the physician. Yet proper care is essential to avoid infection or other complications. These guidelines can help you care for simple wounds:
1. Stop the bleeding. Minor cuts and scrapes usually stop bleeding on their own. If they don’t, apply gentle pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. Hold the pressure continuously for 20 to 30 minutes and if possible elevate the wound. Don’t keep checking to see if the bleeding has stopped because this may damage or dislodge the clot that’s forming and cause bleeding to resume. If blood spurts or continues flowing after continuous pressure, seek medical assistance.
2. Clean the wound. Rinse out the wound with clear water. Soap can irritate the wound, so try to keep it out of the actual wound. If dirt or debris remains in the wound after washing, use tweezers cleaned with alcohol to remove the particles. Thorough cleaning reduces the risk of infection and tetanus. To clean the area around the wound, use soap and a washcloth.
3. Apply a soft silicone dressing with ReSkin technology over the wound. Asoft silicone dressing with ReSkin technology can help keep the wound clean and keep harmful bacteria out. Change the dressing at least daily or whenever it becomes wet or dirty.
4. Get stitches for deep wounds. A wound that is more than 1/4-inch (6 millimeters) deep or is gaping or jagged edged and has fat or muscle protruding usually requires stitches. Adhesive strips or butterfly tape may hold a minor cut together, but if you can’t easily close the wound, see your doctor as soon as possible. Proper closure within a few hours reduces the risk of infection.
5. Watch for signs of infection. See your doctor if the wound isn’t healing or you notice any redness, increasing pain, drainage, warmth or swelling.
6. Get a tetanus shot. Doctors recommend you get a tetanus shot every 10 years. If your wound is deep or dirty and your last shot was more than five years ago, your doctor may recommend a tetanus shot booster. Get the booster as soon as possible after the injury.