Wound care can be a long and drawn out process if you are unfamiliar with how to heal wounds. Most scrapes and cuts can be treated at home and don’t require stitches. There are some supplies that you should keep on hand, especially if you have children in the house. Children seem to fall down, get scraped up and get wounds on their hands and fingers. While most adults mainly receive wounds from chopping food, shaving or falling on sharp concrete, everyone should have a supply of bandages and remedy creams for such emergencies.
Items needed to heal a wound:
- Clean cloths
- Assorted bandages to include steri-strips
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Cotton balls
- Skin superglue
- Antibiotic cream
- Assess the damage. The first thing you should do when you get a wound is to check to see how large the laceration is. A wound measuring over ½ cm should be seen by a physician to see if stitches are needed, but most cuts or scrapes can be treated at home.
- Apply pressure to the wound. This should be done immediately to stop the bleeding. If the wound is on the arm or leg, elevate it above the heart to slow the flow of blood to that area. As soon as the bleeding has stopped, remove the cloth and reassess the wound to see if it needs medical attention.
- Clean the wound. It’s critical to properly clean any wound in order for it to heal properly. Run it under lukewarm water to remove any debris and clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide and a cotton ball. The peroxide will kill any germs or bacteria that may be lingering on the skin, and this is a critical step in avoiding infections. Pat the area lightly to dry the skin around the wound.
- Determine the type of bandage. This can be a tough one, but if the wound is more of a gash, steri-stips (butterfly strips) should be used to keep the skin around the wound held together. This prevents dirt from reentering the wound and the strips help to keep it from reopening. Steri-strips should be kept dry and not removed for at least five days. After five days, you can start to get the area wet to encourage the bandage to come off. Avoid pulling on the strips because it could reopen the wound.
- Keep the wound moist. This is critical for new skin and cell growth, so don’t let the wound dry out and scab over. This delays the healing time and can leave scars. Do not pick at it or remove a scab that is firmly attached. If a scab does develop, dab it with a cotton ball with peroxide twice a day until it comes off easily. Apply antibiotic cream a couple of times a day to keep the wound moist and keep it covered.
Skin super glue is great alternative to bandages, and it’s a great option for small or straight wounds. It’s applied to the wound while holding the cut together to form a cohesive barrier. This is a quick and painless option that is great for small kids. These skin glues can be used in place of stitches when applied properly. They are very effective, and they eliminate the scars that come with healing wounds. Using this type of glue completely seals the wound and it becomes practically maintenance free. Try skin superglue the next time you need to heal wounds.