Most scrapes and cuts do not require a trip to a Costa Mesa medical clinic. For these types of wounds, you can treat them at home if you have the right supplies on hand and follow these tips:
- Wash your hands and the cut. Using a mild anti-bacterial soap, wash your hands, and then the cut. You do not need to scrub the soap into the wound as it may burn. The objective is to remove dirt from the wound. Rinse in cool water, and use the cool water to help remove any remaining dirt.
- Get the wound to stop bleeding. Small cuts and scrapes normally stop bleeding on their own as the blood clots. For deeper cuts, elevate the affected area above the heart, if possible, and apply direct pressure to the area after applying a bandage.
- Change the bandage after the bleeding slows/stops. Carefully remove the bandage from the affected area, apply a small amount of an antibiotic cream or ointment, and cover with a fresh bandage. If the cut or scrape has stopped bleeding and is not in an area where it will be irritated by clothing or movement, do not bandage it.
- Change the bandage a few times a day. Any time the bandage gets wet or dirty, change it after you are finished with the activity that caused it to get wet or dirty. Remember to wash the area with antibacterial soap and cool water, and dry it, before putting on a new bandage.
- After risk of infection has passed, stop using a bandage. Once the body has formed a scab, it is no longer necessary to wear a bandage over the wound. A scab is the body’s natural defense to infection, and protects the wound from dirt and water. Never pick at scabs, and allow them to fall off naturally.
- Visit urgent care in Costa Mesa when needed. If the wound was caused by a metal object (i.e. nail, knife, screwdriver, etc.), you could require a tetanus shot. In addition, if the cut is deep or excessively long, where bone, tissue, or muscle is exposed, you might require stitches.
- Monitor the wound. As the wound heals, watch for potential infection, such as puffiness, swelling, redness, blistering, or increased soreness or pain. These symptoms indicate possible infection and require antibiotics from a doctor at a Costa Mesa urgent care clinic.
Now that you know how to treat a cut so it heals properly, let’s discuss the right ways to apply bandages to cuts and scrapes. The padded area on the bandage should fully cover the wound. If the padded area on the bandage is not big enough, use sterile gauze pads or rolls, instead, to cover the cut or scape and secure the gauze in place with medical tape or bandages.
If you need a tetanus shot, stitches, or have further questions about cuts and scrapes, feel free to stop by Xpress Urgent Care or contact us at 949-548-8400.