Do’s & Don’ts For Cuts, Scrapes & Wounds

Mother putting on bandage on daughter

Mother with daughter (8-9)

What’s the proper care for minor cuts and scrapes? Wounds always hurt, but the degree of pain will vary according to the nature, location, and severity of the injury. Minor cuts and scrapes usually don’t require a trip to the emergency room. Yet the right treatment is essential to avoid infection or other complications. These guidelines can help you care for simple wounds.

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How should I clean a wound?

The best way to clean a cut, scrape or puncture wound (such as a wound from a nail) 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 itself because soap can cause irritation. Use tweezers that have been cleaned in isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) to remove any dirt that remains in the wound after washing.

Even though it may seem that you should use a stronger cleansing solution (such as hydrogen peroxide or iodine), these things may irritate wounds. Ask your family doctor if you feel you must use something other than water.