Better Health Magazine: Caring for Cuts and Wounds
As we all navigate through life from childhood to adulthood, there is no escaping the possibility of cuts or wounds.
Whether it is a small scrape or a gashing wound, the best way to avoid future pain and discomfort is to understand the importance of appropriate care and apply the relevant treatment.
Most cuts and wounds are treated based on the severity, and while some usually heal on their own without extra efforts, the most important thing to do is keep them clean.
Knowing the steps to take for you and your loved ones is a secure protection for any future debilitating effects.
The below fact sheet examines the proper care from the smallest scrape to the deepest wound.
- Minor cuts and small scrapes: This category comprises the least severe abrasions which normally heal within a few days. However, regardless of how minor it may seem, it is important to maintain cleanliness at the site and check daily for any signs of infection such as pus or tenderness.
- Large cuts and gashes: For large cuts and open wounds, which may result in a slight loss of blood, it is important to gently apply pressure with a clean cloth until the bleeding stops. Follow up directly by cleaning the wound thoroughly to remove any debris to avoid infection. It may be helpful to apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly and cover with a bandage or gauze for a few days until healing is at an advanced stage.
- Lacerations: A laceration is a more serious wound which generally requires medical attention. Take note of how deep it is by checking to see if bone, muscle or fatty tissue is exposed, as in those extenuating circumstances stitches or staples may be required. It is important to note that even if a laceration is stitched or stapled that it still requires daily attention. Make sure to keep it clean and dry with non-stick bandages and continue to follow all the directions from your medical doctor.
After a cut or wound, most people wonder how they can reduce the occurrence of permanent scarring. Unfortunately, most cuts and wounds result in some form of permanent scarring depending on where it occurred and the overall severity.
Scars are a natural part of the healing process; however, there are some helpful tips which can reduce the size and visibility such as not scratching or picking at the wound, applying ointments such as petroleum jelly to keep the area moist, and using sunblock.
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