What to do when you get minor cuts and scrapes.
If you’ve scraped your knee or got a small cut in your hand, there’s usually no need to consult a doctor or take a trip to the emergency room. Most minor cuts and scrapes can be cleaned and treated by you at home. Check out the following list of first aid tips for handling minor flesh wounds yourself.
First aid tips for cuts and scrapes:
- Wash your hands to avoid infected the wound.
- Stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound. Small wounds typically stop bleeding rather quickly, and oftentimes on their own.
- Clean and rinse the wound with water and light soap. Try to keep the soap out of the wound itself because it can irritate the tissue. Use the soap to clean the surrounding area. Cleaning the wound lessens the chances of infection and tetanus.
- Apply an antibiotic cream or ointment to coat the wound and help prevent infection.
- Cover the wound with medical gauze or bandages to keep the wound protected from harmful bacteria. If the cut or scrape is very minor, leave it exposed to “let it breathe.”
The above tips are sufficient for the majority of any small scrapes or wounds you’ll ever get. However, if the cut or scrape is a bit more severe you need to seek medical attention by consulting our doctors or visiting our urgent care clinics across North Texas to get one, or both, of the following:
- A tetanus shot. If the wound is dirty and you haven’t had a tetanus shot in over 5 years, it is recommended you do so now to avoid the agonizing effects of tetanus.
- Stitches. Deeper wounds such as those that are gaping or jagged with exposed fat, muscle or tissue will need stitches immediately to minimize scarring and reduce the risk of infection.
Whether you DIY your minor cut or scrape, or the doctor applies stitches, watch for signs of infection such as redness, increasing pain, oozing puss or abnormal swelling.