Learn About First-Aid for Minor Cuts and Scrapes
Minor cuts and scrapes can quickly become a messy problem if you are not well prepared for the eventuality. From toddlers to senior citizens, no one gets through life without getting handed the occasional proverbial “booboo” from daily life. Being ready can minimize the blood and pain, and even help speed up the recovery process. Learn about the first-aid kit essentials for minor cuts and scrapes, the natural remedies you can use to supplement healing, how to take care of any cut or scrape and if or when to head to the hospital.
Find Out First-Aid Kit Must-Haves for Minor Cuts and Scrapes
The standard first-aid kit is usually equipped with the materials needed to handle minor cuts and scrapes. Nonetheless, a household with active members, especially one with children, is prone to depleting its first-aid kit rather quickly. Whether you are replenishing or making your own home-made first-aid kit, you will need the following essentials:
- Antibiotic cream
- Antiseptic wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Assorted bandages
- Medical Tape
- Tylenol or children’s Tylenol
- Rubbing alcohol to clean tools
You can find all of these items at a local pharmacy or general store. You may also be able to compile these items by shopping online. As stated earlier, all or most of these materials can be found in a basic first-aid kit, also available online and in drug stores.
Learn About Natural Supplements That Can Help Minor Cuts and Scrapes
There are times when the first-aid kit or modern medicines in your home are out of stock. Sometimes your modern medicine supplies are fully stocked, but you are looking to bolster their healing abilities with natural solutions. If you’re looking for a natural alternative or homebrew remedy, consider the following household item to help heal your cuts and scrapes:
- Coconut oil – Used for everything from baking to cosmetic applications, coconut oil has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and moisturizing properties. It will not only help to heal cuts and scrapes, it can also help prevent scarring on the skin.
- Turmeric powder – Make a paste by mixing turmeric with linseed oil and apply it to the cut or scrape. Putting this paste directly on your wound as needed can decrease reactive oxygen species from causing infection. Mix a teaspoon of the powder with milk or almond milk for an anti-inflammatory, infection-fighting concoction.
- Tea tree oil – Tea tree oil has shown helpful in healing infected cuts and scrapes. Applying a small amount directly to an open wound twice a day can help kill the bacteria.
- Honey – Honey has been used since 2000 BC to heal wounds. The many vitamins and minerals within honey can kill bacteria and fungi that would otherwise infect cuts and scrapes. However, medical grade honey must be used to be effective.
- Aloe Vera – Known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, aloe is full of phytochemicals that can ease pain. Apply aloe vera gel directly to a wound and allow it to dry on its own.
While all of the above natural medicines may prove effective to some degree, keep in mind they are not meant to be used in place of or replace modern medicines entirely.
How to Take Care of Minor Cuts and Scrapes
Depending on what caused the cut or scrape, you may be dealing with a clean puncture, deep cut or rough scrape. In any event, the following steps will help you to address the wound:
- Before dealing with the cut or scrape, wash your hands with soap to reduce the chances of infecting the wound.
- Rinse the cut or scraped area with cool water to remove debris or dirt surrounding the affected area. Use soap to clean the surrounding area but avoid putting soap or other chemicals into the cut or scrape itself. You may also choose to remove larger pieces of debris from the wound using tweezers disinfected with rubbing alcohol.
- Attempt to stop the bleeding by using a cloth, bandage or paper towel. Whatever you use, make sure it is clean. Apply a little pressure to the bleeding area to help the blood clot and stop flowing.
- Put antibiotic cream into the wound to begin the healing process.
- Cover the cut or scrape with an adhesive bandage, gauze or cloth that can be secured to your body.
- When the bandage gets wet or becomes soiled, remove the bandage, clean the area and reapply antibiotic cream. Place a fresh bandage over the wound.
- If the wound appears to be getting infected (discoloration of the skin, pus, fever, etc.) see a doctor. He or she may give you antibiotics, medicated ointments other medications depending on the severity. The doctor may also recommend a tetanus shot if your shots are not up to date and if the cut is from a metal object.
When to Go to the Hospital for Minor Cuts and Scrapes
Minor cuts and scrapes usually do not require the attention of a medical professional. However, there are some cases which would warrant a visit to the doctor. You should go to doctor for cuts and scrapes when:
- The cut or wound is profusely bleeding and will not stop after a reasonable amount of time of applying pressure to it.
- The wound is exceptionally deep, jagged or on your face.
- The cut or scrape occurred from a dirty object or corroded piece of metal.
- The scrape or cut does not show signs of healing, begins to cause fever or shows other signs of infections like pus, swelling or darkness around the affected area.
- The wound is a result of a human or animal bite.
- Your tetanus shot is not up to date, within the last five years.
- You have lost feeling in the wounded area.
It is highly unlikely a person needs to call an ambulance for a minor cut or wound. However, a severe wound may warrant a quick ride to a hospital or urgent care facility. If the wound has not shown signs of healing, like a scab, within a few days, visit a doctor for further help.