Health Care

How to Treat Cuts and Scrapes

A physician showing something to her patient on her business tablet

How to Treat Cuts and Scrapes

We know accidents happen quickly. A paring knife slips, your child trips or the dog nips — and before you know it, you’re trying to figure out what to do next. Learning how to patch up cuts at home, and knowing when to see a doctor, can help you feel more prepared for life’s mishaps.

And when you need help fast for a cut or scrape, rest assured we always welcome walk-in visits. Find us near you so you know where to go before you need us.

Helping Small Cuts Heal Faster

When you or a loved one gets hurt and is bleeding, try to stay calm. Most small cuts and scrapes can be treated at home. The important thing is to make sure the wound is clean and treated to prevent infection. To clean it:

  1. Wash your hands
  2. Rinse the area under clean, running water
  3. Clean around the wound with mild soap and water
  4. Remove any dirt or debris
  5. Put on antibiotic cream and a bandage

Change your bandage daily and keep an eye on the area until it’s healed. If it starts turning red, swelling or looks unusual, visit your local Centra Care to have one of our providers take a look.

When to Get Stitches or Special Treatment

For bigger cuts, you might need to apply pressure to help stop the bleeding. With a gauze pad or clean towel, gently press on the wound for five to ten minutes without stopping. If it’s still bleeding after that, you might need medical care.

You might need or want stitches if:

  • The cut is in a sensitive area, such as the face
  • You can see into the cut and see tissue or bone under the skin
  • You can’t bring the sides of the cut together with gentle pressure

You’ll want to have a medical professional look at the cut if:

  • It’s from an animal bite (since bites carry bacteria)
  • It’s from a dirty or rusty object (you might need a tetanus shot)
  • You aren’t able to clean all the dirt or debris out of the wound

We know life can be unpredictable. That’s why when you need us, we’re here to help with stitches, special treatment or a second opinion on any cut or scrape that has you worried.

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