How to Treat Minor Cuts and Scrapes

Small acts such as cutting a tomato can lead to minor cuts and scrapes. They happen every day and are at times a normal part of life. The problems arise when the wounds are deep and there is heavy bleeding or something embedded deeply inside the wound. If the cut is minor, here are the steps you can take:

Clean the Cut

Immediately after a minor cut, make sure you rinse the area with cool water to remove dirt and debris. You can use soap to clean the wound. It is not necessary to use strong solutions such as hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or running alcohol because it may cause irritation. Using cool water should be sufficient.

Stop the Bleeding

A small amount of blood can clean out a wound. Usually, a smaller cut and abrasion can stop bleeding on their own. Cuts that occur on the head or hand may bleed more because these areas usually have a lot of blood vessels. To stop a minor cut from bleeding, you should apply firm, direct pressure with a clean cloth or gauze. Make sure to continue to hold the pressure steadily. When putting pressure on a wound, make sure you do not raise the cloth to check for more bleeding. This may cause the wound to start bleeding once again. If you notice that the blood seeps through the cloth or gauze, just keep exerting more pressure in the area. If you have a cut on your hand or arm, you can slowly raise either hand or arm on top of your head to stop bleeding. If you notice that the cut ejects blood or does not stop bleeding, then seek professional help.

When to Call the Doctor

Most minor cuts or abrasions do not require doctor’s care. You should call the doctor or seek immediate medical attention if:

  1. The wound is on your face.
  2. The edges of the wound are jagged or gape open, the cut is more than ¼ inch deep, or if you can see muscle or fat. These situations may require stitching.
  3. You can’t seem to clean the wound since it was caused by something dirty or rusty.
  4. If you have a puncture wound or deep cut and you have not received a tetanus shot in the past five years.
  5. If the wound was caused by an animal or human.
  6. If the cut area feels numb.

Bandaged finger

This is not intended to serve an medical advice. If you have any questions, consult with a medical professional.

Valley Occupational Medical Center

 

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