Bandages: The Basics

1)      Scratches and cuts on face. Image When getting a cut, regardless of where you get it, you should always wash it out and make sure you take out all the debris and dirt from the wound. If there is blood coming out, you should apply pressure with sterile gauze to stop the bleeding. Cuts on the face tend to bled more but can usually be uncovered if they are minor cuts. A small bandage may be required. But if the wound is deep and longer than half an inch– it may require stitches.Image               

2) Dealing with blisters. Usually blisters heal uncovered when there is no direct contact with the area. The problem occurs when the blister is located in an area where there will be constant contact such as the sole of a foot or a finger. To prevent a blister from breaking, you can protect is with a dressing. In the occasion of the blister popping open, you can always put a bandage to help prevent it from getting an infection.


3) Strains and sprains decoded. A sprain means that a ligament has been stretched or torn. On the other hand, a strain means there is an injury to the muscle or tendon.  The usually signs of this occurring are swelling,pain, and tenderness on the area.  It is helpful to ice the area and wrap it with a compression bandage as well as keep it elevated. Yet in certain cases depending on the severity of the sprain or strain, it may be required that surgery be performed and/or therapy.

4) Treating Minor Burns. You need to seek medical attention if the burn is greater than two inches or if the burn, on the face, and if it is severe.  When treating burns, do not use butter, powder, or grease because it may aggravate the injury.  After rinsing the burn, you should place a thin layer of antibiotic cream. After that, you should place a bandage on top of the burn. A non-adhesive dressing may be preferable so it does not stick to the burn. Image

5) Closing open wounds. If the edges of your wound can be put together, then you can use a butterfly bandage to bring the edges closer together. You always place a butterfly bandage across the cut, but not lengthwise.  If needed, you can use two bandages. On the other hand, if the wound is gaping, longer than half an inch, and it does not stop bleeding after 15 minutes of direct pressure—call the doctor immediately

 6)  Surgical wounds. When it comes to surgical wounds, you should pay close attention to the directions that your doctor tells you to follow. You should always keep the area clean and dry. When changing the dressing, you should follow the doctor’s directions. Every time you change dressing, you should see if there are any signs of infection: redness, swelling, or green/yellow discharge fluid accompanied with a foul odor.

7) Dealing with scraped knees and elbows. When dealing with cuts on the knees or elbows, it is usually very difficult to cover it with a bandage. You can use winged bandages or flexible fabric bandages. Another alternative can be a liquid bandage. A liquid bandage can stop not only  minor bleeding, but can keep dirt and debris out of the wound. Another great advantage of a liquid bandage is that is shower resistant and you only have to apply it once.

Image 8) Bandaging difficult areas such as knees, knuckles, and fingers. Sometimes the hardest wounds or cuts depend on where they are located.  If they are located in areas of full movement such as knees and elbows, they are difficult to cover up with bandages. There are bandage companies that have identified this problem and have tried to resolve it by making different shaped bandages such as H-shaped or hourglass shape which prevent bunching and stay in place longer.

9) Scrapes covering large areas—you should cover them! Scrapes that span across large areas should be kept moist to promote the healing process.  Therefore, using bandages that contain antibiotic may be the first step to healing properly as well as moist-enhancing bandages called occlusive bandages. Certain scrapes do not form scabs, but remain shiny and raw. If this happens, just make sure that the scrape is cleaned properly and that the bandage is changed regularly. You should check for signs of infection. Image

10)   Bandaging areas: hands and feet. Cuts and wounds on hands are exposed to more germs than the face; therefore, it is best to keep them covered. Cuts on feet should be covered with a bandage because socks and shoes can irritate the cut further. An adhesive bandage can usually do the job for these areas, but make sure that you change them regularly because these areas can get dirtier quicker. Yet, if wounds on hands and feet are deep, then you should consult your healthcare professional.

11)   When to call a doctor. You should call a doctor when a wound is deep and it will not stop bleeding after applying pressure to the area for a couple of minutes.  For adults, you should get a tetanus shot if you haven’t gotten one in five years. For children, you should always consult a doctor to be on the safe side. You should play close attention  to cuts and wounds for signs of infection.  You should call a healthcare professional when you see the wound with swelling, redness that extends to skin, and if you experience discharge. Not intended to provide medical advice



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