When you got a cut as a kid, an adult washed it off, slapped a bandage on it and gave it a kiss. You were all better. At worst, you had a cool scab to show off to your friends. The older we get, the more careful we have to be about taking care of a cut properly. Our skin gets thinner as we age, and cuts can have more serious consequences. These steps tell you how to treat a simple cut at home.
1. Clean It
If you sustain a small, shallow cut or abrasion, the first step is to wash your hands with soap and water. Next, you must clean the cut. You can either put it under a faucet or pour a cup of cool water over it. This will help to rinse away debris. Once you've rinsed the cut, wash it with soap and water. Avoid things like peroxide or alcohol. Soap is just fine for shallow wounds.
2. Apply Pressure
If the cut is actively bleeding, you'll want to stop it. Apply pressure to the wound with a clean towel or piece of gauze. Elevate the wound so that it is above your heart. This step helps to slow the flow of blood to the area. If you cannot get the blood to stop, you will need to seek medical attention because the cut is more serious than you believed it to be.
3. Apply a Dressing
Once the wound is clean and the bleeding has stopped, you should apply a dressing to keep it clean and help prevent infection. You can apply an antimicrobial gel to further aid healing and then place an adhesive bandage over the site.
Scabbing is a good sign. It may not be as cool as it was when you were a child, but scabs are a sign that the skin is healing. If a scab has covered the wound, you can stop using a bandage. Do your best not to pick the scab. It will fall off on its own when the new skin has formed underneath.
You May Need Medical Attention If:
The cut you sustain is on your face.
The wound is deep and you can see underlying tissues. If the edges are jagged, you should also visit the doctor.
You can't get the wound clean.
You were cut by something rusty or very dirty.
You were bitten by an animal.
You were bitten by a human.
The area has gone numb.
You notice redness or swelling that appears to be spreading.
While most minor cuts and abrasions can be treated at home, you need to know when medical intervention is required. Call or visit your doctor if any of these warning signs occur.
Minor cuts and scrapes are easy to care for at home with the right supplies. If you need to stock up your first-aid kit or medicine cabinet, shop online at Med On the Go. We have the supplies needed to provide necessary care for yourself and your loved ones.