Cuts and scrapes are a normal part of life – regardless of your age. As such, proper wound care is an essential skill everyone should have. Even small wounds can end up being big trouble if they aren’t taken care of properly. As such, when you get a wound, make sure to know what you are supposed to do at home, and when it’s time to see a doctor.
One important thing to remember is before doing anything to a wound, you should assess its severity. If you have a small wound with a little bleeding, you can take care of it at home. However, if you have uncontrollable bleeding, a significant cut that needs stitches, or a lot of pain at the wound site, you should see an urgent care doctor immediately.
If you have a small wound, you can take care of it at home. However, if you notice signs of an infection (warm sensation, discharged, or continuous bleeding at the wound, or if you have a fever), seek medical care regardless of the wound size.
Here are steps you can take for wound care at home. Remember, if you feel uncomfortable with doing these steps yourself or if you have uncontrollable bleeding, visit an urgent care quickly.
Wash Your Hands
Cleaning a wound with dirty hands increases the risk of infection. Even if your hands appear clean, before doing anything to a wound, wash your hands thoroughly with soap. Rub your hands under water for at least 20 seconds and use soap to remove germs and bacteria that may cause infection in a wound.
Stop the Bleeding
The next step is to stop bleeding from the wound. You should do this by applying pressure to the wound and allow the blood to clot. Make sure to use a clean cloth or bandage when applying pressure to the wound. Also, raise the part of the body that has suffered the wound. Gravity will help keep blood from rushing to the wound site, which will help stop the bleeding.
Wash The Wound
Once the bleeding stops, it’s best to clean the wound with running water. Be gentle while you clean it. You may notice a stinging sensation, pain, and some slight bleeding when you clean it – this is normal. Dry the wound with a clean cloth.
Next, apply an antibiotic ointment to the wound. The antibiotic will prevent the growth of bacteria that may lead to an infection. A thin layer of bacitracin antibiotic ointment is enough.
Cover the Wound
Use sterile dressing to cover the wound. The goal is to protect the wound from outside elements as it heals. If the wound is minor, you don’t have to cover it with sterile dressing, and a simple bandage will do. However, for moderate sized wounds, it’s best to cover with sterile dressing and tape. Do not tighten the dressing too much or keep it too lose. It should fit well over the wound, so it doesn’t slip off, but should not cut off the circulation of blood to the area, either.
Proper Wound Care in Rochester, NY
It’s easy to make mistakes with proper wound care without first aid or medical training. If you have a moderate-sized cut or scrape, the medical professionals at Cornerstone Urgent Care Clinic can help. You can simply walk in to our urgent care clinic and receive immediate treatment for your wound.
Our urgent care walk-in clinic is staffed with physicians and medical providers that can treat a wide variety of non-life-threatening illnesses and injuries. To find out more about our services, call Cornerstone Urgent Care Clinic at (585) 207-0088 or let us know you’re coming by checking in online.