Infections from cuts start from a wound, even when they are small cuts. It is therefore important to know how to treat them properly.
Minor cuts will only damage the skin and the fatty tissue beneath it and they usually heal without permanent damage.
More serious cuts may damage muscles, tendons, blood vessels, ligaments, or nerves.
The following are some major concerns in treating a cut
To stop the bleeding, apply direct pressure to the wound.
To avoid infection, clean the wound thoroughly.
To promote healing, bring the edges of the skin together.
Make sure tetanus immunization is up- to-date.
Follow these self care steps to treat a cut :
Stop the Bleeding
Cover the wound with a gauze pad or a thick, clean piece of cloth. Use your hand if nothing else is available.
Press on the wound hard enough to stop the bleeding. Do not let up on the pressure even to change cloths. Just add a clean cloth over the Original One.
Raise the wound above heart level, unless this movement would cause pain.
Take medical care immediately if blood Spurts from a wound or bleeding does not stop after applying pressure for 20 minutes, as measured by a clock.
Clean the Wound
Wash the cut with soap and water or use hydrogen peroxide (3 percent solution). Donít Mercurochrome, Methiolate, or iodine. They are not necessary and can be very painful.
Make Sure no dirt, glass, or foreign material remain in the Wound
Bandage the Wound
Bandage a cut (rather than seeing a medical provider for stitches) when its edges tend to fall together and when the cut is not very deep.
A cut will need stitches when external bandages cannot hold the edges of the wound close enough together to promote healing and reduce scarring. Cuts heal from side to side, so the length of the wound does not determine whether stitches are necessary.
Stitches may also be called for when the wound continues to bleed for a long time.
Even though stitches are put in under sterile conditions, the stitching material is foreign to the body and can make it easier for infections to develop.
Most cuts do not need stitches and can be taken care of at home following basic self-care techniques. If you feel a cut might need stitches, call the advice nurse.
Signs and Symptoms that needs more care
Numbness or weakness.
Uncontrolled bleeding after 20 minutes (by the clock) of direct pressure.
Unable to move fingers or toes normally.
Cut doesnít heal after 14 days.
No tetanus booster received in the past 1Oyears.
Cut badly contaminated.
Cut is deep or irregular or the edges of the wound cannot easily be held together with a bandage.
Signs of infection.
Cut is deep and located the face, chest, abdomen, finger, knee, or elbow.