How Do You Treat Superficial Wounds

How Do You Treat Superficial Wounds?

Cuts and scrapes are a universal experience for active kids. Many adults can look back at some point in their lives when they slipped or fell or made impact with another object and came out with injuries that break the skin. Aside from these, wounds can be caused by insect bites, burns, or even excessive scratching. Most of the time, small cuts and scrapes don’t require a lot of attention; children often don’t give them a lot of thought and continue on playing after a tumble. Still, proper care is needed to ensure that the affected area is not bleeding too much or prone to infection, and that it is healing nicely.

Can It Be Taken Care of at Home?

Tending to wounds, scrapes, and cuts is a subject that is covered in first aid classes in Melbourne and other areas in the country. Families with children, in particular, find many opportunities to use this particular set of knowledge. While skin breaks don’t often require emergency care, parents and guardians need to know when a cut requires medical attention and how to treat it properly. A wound needs to be seen by a professional if it falls under any of the following categories:

  • Blood is spurting out
  • It won’t stop bleeding even after applying pressure on it
  • It is still bleeding after 20 minutes
  • The cut is deeper than 1.2 cm
  • The wound is from a bite or a serious injury
  • The person has conditions that can complicate the treatment of the wound

A cut that is bleeding profusely or for a prolonged period should be covered with a clean cloth or bandage and raised above the injured person’s head, while another person calls for help. A deep wound may require stitches, which might need to be removed later on, or medical glue, which will fall off on its own. Skin breaks from animal or human bites are prone to infection and need medical attention.

Home Treatment for Wounds and Scrapes

Minor cuts, abrasions, or scrapes, on the other hand, can be safely and sufficiently treated at home. First of all, the person handling the wound should wash their hands properly, then address the bleeding by applying gentle pressure on the wound or by elevating it. Next, the affected area should be cleaned by putting it under running tap water. Debris and dirt embedded to the area should be removed by using a sterilized tweezer—if this is proving to be a difficult task, bring the injured to the doctor.

Once the wound is clean, apply an antiseptic cream to it to prevent infection. Petroleum jelly can also be applied to the area to keep it moist and to minimize scarring. Avoid putting hydrogen peroxide or iodine, as these can further irritate the skin. The wound can then be dressed using a bandage or gauze held in place by paper tape. However, if the scratch is a minor one, it can be left without dressing. The dressing should be changed once daily or whenever it gets dirty. If the wound is causing discomfort, the patient can take pain medication to keep it under control.

Looking Out for Signs of Infection

Dressing the wound properly doesn’t mean that you’re in the clear; it’s still a must to look out for signs of infection. These include redness, warmth, or swelling around the wound, increased pain in the area, increased drainage, pus with a foul odor, or fever.

In general, though, minor wounds resolve themselves with minimal issue. Just keep an eye on the wound until it heals completely so you can immediately address complications that may rise up. At best, a superficial wound from one’s childhood will heal with minimal scarring, maybe a humorous story, or even a lesson or two about how the skin functions to protect the body.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does constitute, replace, or qualify as RPL for our first aid training courses.

1 comment

  1. Good tips to remember. Too much blood is not a good thing to treat yourself.