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How to treat minor cuts and bruises

How to treat minor cuts and bruises

Accidents happen so quickly – a slip of the knife while chopping and you’ve cut your finger or twisting your ankle while reaching for the ball in a soccer match! We advise on how to treat your minor cuts and bruises properly, minimising scarring and pain.

MINOR CUTS

1. Clean the cut – first wash your hands with soap and water. Next, rinse the cut with cool water to remove any dirt. The use of a harsh cleaning solution is not necessary for minor cuts as they might irritate the wound.

2. Stop the bleeding – a small amount of bleeding can help clean the wound. Usually, smaller cuts stop bleeding on their own. To stop the bleeding, gently apply firm, direct pressure using a clean cloth or gauze – continue to hold the pressure firmly.

BRUISES

1. Rest it – ensure that you rest the affected area properly by keeping it elevated if possible.

2. Ice it – applying ice onto the affected area will reduce swelling and pain. Apply ice for 10–20 minutes at a time; three or more times a day.

3. Reduce swelling – if the swelling has reduced after 48-72 hours, apply heat and begin to gently exercise or massage the affected area.

4. Compression – wrapping the bruised area with an elastic bandage will also help decrease the swelling. Do not wrap the affected area too tightly!

When to call the Doctor:

Most minor cuts or bruises don’t need a doctor’s care. But see your doctor if:

– The wound is on your face or head.

– The edges of the cut are jagged or gape open, the cut is deep, or you can see fat or muscle. These are signs that you may need stitches.

– You can’t get all of the dirt or debris out of the wound, or the wound was caused by something very dirty or rusty.

– You have a puncture wound or a cut and haven’t had a tetanus shot in the past five years.

– The wound is from an animal or human bite.

– The injured area feels numb.