Minor cuts and scrapes


Many small cuts, scrapes, or abrasions will heal well without medical care. Here's what to do if the injury isn't serious:

Stop bleeding by pressing a clean, soft cloth against the wound for a few minutes. If the wound is bleeding a lot, you'll need to hold pressure for longer (sometimes up to 15 minutes). If the wound is small, the bleeding should stop in a few minutes as the blood's clotting factors do their work to seal the wound.

As you keep the pressure on the wound, avoid the urge to peek. Lifting the bandage may start the bleeding again.

Clean the wound. Run warm water over the cut for 5 minutes. Then use soap to gently wash the skin around the cut or scrape thoroughly. If there's dirt or debris in the wound (like gravel from a scrape), remove it if you can- a soft, damp cloth can help. Cleaning the wound helps remove infection-causing bacteria from the injured area. If you can't remove all the dirt, call your doctor's office.

Put a light layer of an antibiotic ointment around the cut to kill the germs. Make sure you're not allergic to the medications in the ointment.

Dry the area lightly and cover it with gauze or other type of bandage. A bandage helps prevent germs. If the bandage gets wet or dirty, change it right away.

Each day, take off the bandage and gently wash the injury. Watch for signs of infection. To prevent infection and reduce scarring, don't pick at the scab or skin around the wound.

If there is severe bleeding:  apply direct pressure to the wound; raise and support the injured part (unless broken); apply a dressing and bandage and keep firmly in place. Seek professional medical attention.

*This content is intended for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice.