Cleaning Wounds

Friday, January 22, 2016

Cuts and scrapes, both minor and major, happen frequently. In todays 60 Second Housecall, Dr. Edward Hill discusses how to clean wounds and when you should see a health care specialist.

Dr. Hill:

It is difficult to assess cuts, especially when they are actively bleeding.

Use cool water to clean a cut, scrape or puncture wound and use soap and a soft washcloth to clean the skin around the wound.

Most small cuts or scrapes will stop bleeding in a short time. Wounds on the face, head or mouth will sometimes bleed a lot because these areas are rich in blood vessels.

To stop the bleeding, apply firm but gentle pressure on the cut with a clean cloth, tissue or piece of gauze. Most minor cuts and scrapes will heal just fine without antibiotic ointment, but it can speed healing and help reduce scarring.

If your wound is on an arm or leg, raising it above your heart level will also help slow the bleeding. Call your doctor if your wound is deep, if you cant get the edges to stay together or if the edges are jagged. Your doctor may want to close your wound with stitches or skin adhesive.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.