Foot Care: Proper Wound Care
posted: Sep. 13, 2016.
There is no need to panic for minor cuts and scrapes; they don’t usually require a trip to the emergency room. However, there are certain guidelines that you should keep in mind to care for such wounds. Here are the steps to follow:
Wash your hands.
Before handling any wounds, this step is essential to avoid infection. You may also choose to put on disposable protective gloves if they are available.
Stop the bleeding.
Minor cuts or scrapes usually stop bleeding on their own. In the event that they don’t, apply gentle pressure with a sterile bandage or clean cloth. You should also elevate the wound – this helps in stopping the bleeding.
Clean the wound.
When cleaning a wound, rinse with clear water, mild soap and a clean washcloth. Do not let the soap enter the wound as that might cause irritation. If any dirt or debris remains in the wound even after washing, use tweezers sterilized with alcohol to remove the particles. If debris still remains, it is best to see a doctor immediately. Thorough cleaning reduces the risk of tetanus and infection. The use of hydrogen peroxide or iodine is no longer necessary as it these agents can irritate the already injured tissue.
Cover the wound.
Bandages can definitely help keep the wound clean. They also help keep harmful bacteria out. If the injury is just a minor scrap or scratch, you can choose to leave it uncovered.
Change the dressing.
This should be done at least once a day, or every time the bandage becomes dirty or wet. If the person is allergic to adhesive found in tapes and bandages, there are adhesive-free sterile gauzes or dressings that can be held in place with paper tape or loosely applied elastic bandage.
Deep wounds require stitches.
A deep wound, one that is all the way through the skin and gaping with exposed fat or muscle, will need stitches. Adhesive strips may hold a minor cut together, but wounds that do not easily close require the attention of medical professionals. If the wound can be closed within a few hours, scarring can be minimal and the risk of infection can be decreased.
Watch out for signs of infection.
If the wound is not healing or if you notice any redness, drainage, warmth, increasing pain or swelling, see a doctor immediately.
Get a tetanus shot.
If the injured person has not had a tetanus shot in the past five years and the wound is deep and dirty, that person might need to get a booster shot immediately.