When To Visit A Doctor About Cuts And Scrapes
First aid isnt always enough. See a doctor when:
- Bleeding is bright red and spurting. You may have punctured an artery.
- You cant wash all the debris out of the wound.
- The cut or scrape is on your face or any area where you want to minimize scarring.
- Your wound develops red streaks or weeps pus, or the redness extends more than a fingers width beyond the cut.
- The wound is large, and you can see inside it. You may need stitches. Never try to stitch a wound yourself, even if you are stranded far from medical help.
Kitchen Cures For Cuts And Scrapes
Clove:The dried flower buds of this tropical tree can be found on your spice rack, says Duke in his book The Green Pharmacy. You can sprinkle powdered cloves on a cut to keep it from becoming infected. Clove oil is rich in eugenol, a chemical thats both an antiseptic and a painkiller. Ask your dentist or aromatherapist about it, too.
Garlic: A flavor enhancer, garlicand its relatives, onion and chiveis also a natural antibiotic with lots of antiseptic compounds. Tape a clove of garlic directly on a cut or scrape to help with healing. If this irritates your skin, remove it immediately.
Honey: This natural sweetener contains 3 powerful wound-healing ingredients: sugar for absorbing moisture so bacteria cant survive, hydrogen peroxide to disinfect, and the nectar-based compound propolis to kill bacteria. An added bonus? Honey dries to form a natural bandage.
You Skipped The Bandage
If you think its a good idea to let your skin breathe after cleaning out a cut or scrape, think again. Dr. Au explains that exposing your skin this way has infection written all over it. New cells have to migrate to the appropriate areas to help with healing, Dr. Au explains. Keeping your scrape covered and moist facilitates this process. Exposing wounds to air does not. The best way to get on the fast track to healing and help prevent infection is to keep the wound hydrated with ointments like Vaseline, or Aquaphor. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, petroleum jelly prevents the wound from drying out and forming a scab wounds with scabs take longer to heal. However, following these tips can speed up healing to get rid of that scab.
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Signs You Need A Hospital Now
- Red lines leading away from the wound towards your heart.
- Necrosis of the flesh. This means that the flesh around the wound has died. Look out for black tissue and a funky smell.
- Sudden fever coupled with aches, diarrhea, nausea, rash, and vomiting. These could be the symptoms of toxic shock.
Dont take chances with your health. While in most cases the body will do a good job of keeping out bacteria simply by flooding the area of the cut with platelets that will then clot up your blood and create a scab, in some cases, the body cant prevent a problem from occurring. If the object that cut you in the first place had some bad bacteria, or if some dirt or grime got onto your cut after you began bleeding and had some of that bad bacteria, your cut will get infected. And an infection isnt always something you can just leave to your immune system and sleep off.
So do yourself a favour. Make sure to take preventive measures before the cut gets infected if you possibly can , and be absolutely sure if you notice any signs of infection, to get that cut checked out straight away! Your life could actually depend on it.
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How Long Does It Take To Recover
A minor skinned knee may take one to two weeks to fully heal. The wound is considered fully healed and no longer susceptible to infection once its closed and any scabbing has fallen off naturally. The area may continue to look pink or pale for several weeks longer.
Its important to continue to keep the area clean and to change the bandage daily to eliminate the risk of infection. Infection will require additional treatment and delay healing.
If a scab forms, its important to avoid picking at the scab. Scabs are a form of natural bandage that your body produces in response to an injury. Scabs typically fall off within two weeks when theyre no longer needed to protect the skin underneath.
Its important to decrease the risk of infection in a skinned knee. If you think your knee has become infected, call your doctor.
Signs of infection include:
- foul odor coming from the wound
- pus or discharge
- the area feels warm to the touch
- healing is not taking place
- the wound looks as if it has gotten worse
- increasing amounts of pain
Another, less common complication, is a bacterial infection, called tetanus. If youre concerned that the skinned knee came in contact with something rusted or dirty, including dirt, you may need a tetanus shot, especially if youve not had one in the past five years. Tetanus is a potentially serious condition.
Seek medical help for a skinned knee if any of the following occur:
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When Your Infection Becomes Something More Serious
Skin infections can escalate into a grave threat, and it can happen literally overnight. Staph infections are one example. According to the Mayo Clinic, these infections are brought on by staphylococcus bacteria, germs that are typically found on the skin of healthy people. Theyre usually not problematic its when the bacteria invade your body that a staph infection can turn deadly by creating toxicity in your bloodstream. One of the kinds of infections caused by staph bacteria is cellulitis, which is marked by redness, swelling, sores, or areas that ooze a dischargetypically confined to the feet and lower legs. Impetigo is another skin infection brought on by staph bacteria. Its a contagious, painful rash that typically results in large blisters along with an oozing fluid and an amber-colored crust. Be sure to see your doctor if you have any of these symptoms or suspect your infection has taken a turn for the worse. He or she may prescribe antibiotics or drain areas of your skin to help improve your condition. Dont miss these silent symptoms of sepsis, or blood poisoning. It could just save your life someday.
U.S. News & World Report, Readers Digest, Womans Day, SmithsonianCarl, The Not-so-Crabby CrabThe Cat Who Loved the Moon
Should I Use A Bandage
Leaving a wound uncovered helps it stay dry and helps it heal. If the wound isn’t in an area that will get dirty or be rubbed by clothing, you don’t have to cover it.
If the wound is in an area that will get dirty or be irritated by clothing , cover it with an adhesive bandage , or with a piece of sterile gauze and adhesive tape, or use a skin adhesive . Change the adhesive strip or gauze each day to keep the wound clean and dry.
Certain wounds, such as scrapes that cover a large area of the body, should be kept moist and clean to help reduce scarring and speed healing. Bandages used for this purpose are called occlusive or semiocclusive bandages. You can buy them in drug stores without a prescription. Your family doctor will tell you if this type of bandage is best for you.
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How To Dress And Bandage A Wound
With the wound suitably clean, its time to dress and bandage it. For small cuts, this can be as easy as putting on a simple adhesive bandage. For larger wounds, though, you may need some additional supplies.
To dress and bandage a wound:
How To Control Bleeding
Whether you sliced yourself with your pocket knife or scraped your knee on a rock, the first step in treating a wound is to get the bleeding under control. There are two primary ways to control bleeding: with direct pressure or with a pressure dressing. A third option, using a tourniquet, can help control severe bleeding, but that’s not something that will be covered here. To learn how to use a tourniquet, seek out professional medical training.
How to apply direct pressure to a wound: Simply applying direct pressure will typically stop most of the bleeding. Heres how:
How to apply a pressure dressing to a wound: A pressure dressing is a large dressing thats secured in place on top of the wound to apply pressure and stop bleeding. One of the benefits is that it frees up your hands to work on other tasks. Heres how to create one:
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How Should I Clean A Cut Scrape Or Wound
The best way to clean a cut, scrape, or puncture wound is with cool water. You can hold the wound under running water or fill a tub with cool water and pour it from a cup over the wound.
Use soap and a soft washcloth to clean the skin around the wound. Try to keep soap out of the wound because it can cause irritation. Use tweezers that have been cleaned in isopropyl alcohol to remove any dirt that is still in the wound after washing.
Even though it may seem that you should use a stronger cleansing solution , these things may irritate wounds. Ask your family doctor if you feel you must use something other than water.
The Importance Of Proper Knee Wound Care
There are some benefits you might gain from performing proper knee wound care, such as:
- It does not inhibit any movements your knees should make. Proper bandage application used for covering the wound is essential for this.
- Proper wound care will minimize the formation of scabs, which in excessive amount may trigger infection and delay healing process, and may eventually inhibit free motions of the knees.
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Redness Around The Affected Area Persists
Its perfectly normal for skin around the cut or scrape to look different for a while: Redness, some pain, and even the appearance of tissue thats commonly confused for pus is often par for the course. The warning sign to watch for, according to Dr. Au, is when any of these symptoms seem to get worse rather than better. Redness around a cut or scrape is a sign of healing, for example. But when that color persists or spreads significantly, it may have become infected. See your doctor ASAPand make sure youre not picking or rubbing at your cut or scrape.
How Will My Scraped Knee Heal
A minor scrape in the skin will heal from the bottom up. Cells in the body will begin repairing the damaged skin closest to the inner body first. The middle of the wound will begin to look yellow while healing. This is normal and a good sign of skin growth.
A major scrape that removes all of the skin will heal from the outside in. The edges of the wound will begin healing before the middle.
A scab will often form. A scab is a good thing, since it protects the wound from germs. Refrain from picking it. Doing so could lead to an infection as well as unnecessary bleeding.
The scrape has the potential to become infected. Continue to monitor the scrape for infection as it heals. If you notice signs of infection, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Signs of infection may include:
- yellow or green drainage from the wound
- worsening redness near the wound
- swelling or pain
- red streaks around the area of the injury
- heat radiating from the wound
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Caring For The Wound As It Heals
You Used Soap To Clean Your Scrape
Surprised to see soap on the list? Its just one of the common health products that can be dangerous for you and your family. Regular hand soap can sometimes irritate skin, which may stall the healing process and in turn, lead to an infected cut. Of course, the way everyone reacts to various cleansers differs from one person to the next, but why take the chance when tending to your cut or scrape? The best bet is for you to refrain from using harsh ingredients. Use a gentle cleanser like Cetaphil to clean the area, Dr. Au suggests.
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How To Treat Bad Scrapes
Free E-newsletter Wash your hands. This helps avoid infection. Stop the bleeding. Minor cuts and scrapes usually stop bleeding on their own. Clean the wound. Rinse the wound with water. Apply an antibiotic or petroleum jelly. Cover the wound. Change the dressing. Get a tetanus shot. Watch for signs of infection.
How Essential Oils Help Cuts And Scrapes
Essential oils are concentrated plant extracts with potent medicinal and therapeutic properties. Numerous studies have shown that essential oils have superior antimicrobial, antiseptic, disinfectant, cicatrisant and germicide properties, among others, that assist in wound protection and speedy healing. Here are some of the ways essential oils can help cuts and scrapes:
- Disinfecting the wound
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Should I Go To Indigo
MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care can clean and treat your minor cuts and scrapes, including cuts that require stitches. We offer skin abrasion wound care and even deep skin cut treatment. If you are looking to treat a deep cut or infected scrape, contact MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care.
You should head to an emergency department, though, if any of the following is true:
- The cut is long or deep and may have severed a nerve or tendon
- The bleeding is heavy or will not stop
- The cut or abrasion is on your eye or genitalia
- You have numbness or tingling around the area of the wound
- A foreign object is stuck in the wound
Tea Tree Essential Oil
Also known as Melaleuca oil, tea tree essential oil is obtained from the leaves and terminal branches of Melaleuca alternifolia, a tree species native to Australia. This essential oil has recently surged in popularity because of its powerful antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and germicide properties that treat a wide range of infections. These properties make it a great disinfectant for wounds including cuts and scrapes. Using tea tree oil for wounds also keeps the area clean and prevents infections.
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