You fall and rise and this cycle continues for entire life span of one’s life. But once you fall, you encounter unintentional cuts and scrapes. Have you ever imagined, on an average how much beating our body takes in a year? Just sit back, relax and imagine.
A study conducted by Beneden Healthcare Society, UK, reveals that in one year, the average British suffers 2 shaving cuts, 4 cricked necks, 3 sore throats, 4 cases of heartburn, 6 upset stomachs, 2 stitches, 5 cuts, 2 pulled muscles, 5 cramps and 3 stubbed toes. When calculated for their lifetime, an average British suffers whooping 9672 ailments, sickness and injury.
How do you handle these minor injuries happening every day? Do you know most of them can be treated at home? You should just have enough resources to fulfill your needs. When we talk about resources, it means a First-Aid kit. A first-aid kit should contain following items:
- first-aid manual
- adhesive tape
- adhesive bandages in several sizes
- antiseptic wipes
- antibiotic ointment
- antiseptic solution (like hydrogen peroxide)
- Hydrocortisone cream (1%)
- sharp scissors
- disposable instant cold packs
- calamine lotion
- alcohol wipes or ethyl alcohol
Some of the symptoms that accompany wounds are bleeding, redness, swelling, inflammation, pus, pain and tenderness.
Just follow the steps to get rid of the minor cuts and scrapes:
Wash your hands
Before initiating any process of treating your cut or wound, make sure your hands are completely clean. Wash your hands with soap and water. The dirty hands can cause the bacteria to get soaked in the cut and cause an infection. Alternate to soap is sanitizer.
Put a full stop on bleeding
First thing you need to follow when you get a cut is to stop the bleeding, if any. You can apply some pressure on the cut with a clean cloth. Keep the pressure on for few minutes till the bleeding stops.
If the cut has occurred on your arm or hand, try to raise your head to reduce the flow of blood. If it appears on the leg, lie down and raise it above heart-level.
Cleaning of the wound
Rinse the wound with water. Proper cleaning of wound is first and vital step towards healing of the same. Keep the wound under the running tap water. Wash the wound with soap. Try using boiled and cooled water, or distilled water.
Remove the dirt, debris or any sort of bacteria with help of tweezers, cleaned with alcohol. Gently pat the area with dry, clean towel and cover it with sterile dressing.
Time for Anti-bacterial ointment
A thin layer of antibiotic ointment should be used on affected area. This keeps the surface moist and helps prevent scarring. Some ointments can cause a mild rash in some people. There is variety of products available without a prescription, such as Polysporin, Neosporin, and Bactine are examples of such. Polysporin is a good choice for people with sensitive skin, because it contains fewer ingredients that may cause allergic reactions.
Many people use an iodine or povidone-iodine for minor cuts and bruises. Iodine kills bacteria and viruses effectively.
Closing the wound
In order to heal the cut faster, it is essential to close the wound. But make sure that the wound is totally clean before you close it. Then apply butterfly strips or standard adhesive bandage to keep the cut closed.
Properly closing the skin is important in cuts that are 3.17-6.35 mm wide. (A cut wider than a 6.35mm may require prompt medical attention, as stitches may be necessary.)
Covering the wound
If a wound is covered, it remains clean and protected. A Telfa (coated, gauze type bandage) is preferred over plain gauze, which tends to stick to wounds. Adhesive bandages often have Telfa on them, but you can also buy larger pieces of Telfa in the pharmacy and cut them to fit. Cover the wound with the Telfa pad, and use adhesive tape to hold the pad in place. If the injury is just a minor scrape or scratch, leave it uncovered.
Change the dressing
Whenever the bandage gets dirty, change the same. You can do this at least once a day to prevent any sort of infection. Wash the wound every day with soap and water before applying a clean bandage.
Some other Tips
- Get yourself injected with tetanus shot if you feel the wound is very dirty. Tetanus injection is also advised if you haven’t had any in past five years.
- Take some painkillers if you experience it in first few days. Paracetamol and ibuprofen are most common options.
- Use coconut oil while your wound is in healing stage to avoid scars.
Treating cuts and scrapes is very important to know and these tips can help you treat them easily. In most of the minor injuries, you can treat them at home but it is important to recognize the cuts and scrapes in which you require medical assistance.