Press on the wound to stop the bleeding. Get medical attention if the bleeding is heavy or does not stop soon. Clean the wound no matter how small it is. Cleaning will reduce the chance of infection. Just use ordinary tap water.
Many people deal with minor cuts by themselves.
Ideally, a doctor or nurse should clean wounds that are large, deep, or dirty, and abrasions caused by gravel. There is a risk of infection.
If part of the wound has dead or damaged skin then it may need to be trimmed or removed. This is because dead skin is ideal for infection to develop.
If you suspect the cut has damaged deeper tissues such as nerves, tendons, or joints.
Wounds caused by penetrating glass, metal, etc, may need to be carefully examined, and may need an X-ray to check that there is nothing left inside.
Gaping wounds should be closed with stitches, glue, or sticky tape. Even small gaping wounds on the face are best dealt with by a doctor to keep scarring to a minimum.
You should have a tetanus booster.
Antibiotics are not needed in most cases. However, a course of antibiotics may be advised in some situations where there is a high risk of a wound infection developing. These include:
- Wounds to the feet .
- Large wounds inside the mouth.
- Wounds contaminated with soil, manure, or faeces.
- Deep puncture wounds.
After dealing with a cut
The most common complication is an infection of the wound. See a doctor if the skin surrounding a wound becomes more tender, painful, swollen, red, or inflamed over the next few days.
Alphabetical Index of Health Topics
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