font size


Cuts, Scrapes (Abrasions), and Puncture Wounds

Medical Author:
Medical Editor:

Cuts, scrapes (abrasions), and puncture wounds facts

  • Washing a cut or scrape with soap, and water and keeping it clean and dry is all that is required to care for most wounds.
  • Cleaning the wound with hydrogen peroxide and iodine is acceptable initially, but can delay healing and should be avoided long-term.
  • Apply antibiotic ointment and keep the wound covered.
  • Seek medical care within 6 hours if the affected person thinks they might need stitches.
  • A delay can increase the rate of wound infection.
  • Any puncture wound through tennis shoes or sneakers has a high risk of infection and should be seen by a doctor.
  • Any redness, swelling, increased pain, fever, red streaking, or pus draining from the wound may indicate an infection that requires medical care.

What is the best first aid for a cut or scrape?

The first step in the care of cuts, scrapes (abrasions) is to stop the bleeding. Most wounds respond to direct pressure with a clean cloth or bandage. Hold the pressure continuously for approximately 10 to 20 minutes. If this fails to stop the bleeding or if bleeding is rapid, seek medical assistance.

Next, thoroughly clean the wound with soap and water. Remove any foreign material in the wound, such as dirt, or bits of grass, which may lead to infection. Tweezers can be used (clean them with alcohol first) to remove foreign material from the wound edges, but do not dig into the wound as this may push bacteria deeper into the wound or injure subcutaneous (under the skin) structures. The wound may also be gently scrubbed with a washcloth to remove dirt and debris. Hydrogen peroxide and povidone-iodine (Betadine) products may be used to clean the wound initially, but may inhibit wound healing if used long-term.

Cover the area with a bandage (such as gauze or a Band-Aid) to help prevent infection and dirt from getting in the wound. A first aid antibiotic ointment (Bacitracin, Neosporin, Polysporin) can be applied to help prevent infection and keep the wound moist.

Continued care to the wound is also important. Three times a day, wash the area gently with soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and re-cover with a bandage. Change the bandage immediately if it gets dirty or wet.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 12/20/2013

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Cuts, Scrapes and Puncture Wounds - Experience Question: Please share your experience with cuts, scrapes, or puncture wounds.
Cuts, Scrapes and Puncture Wounds - First Aid Question: What first aid measures did you use for a cut, scrape, or puncture wound?
Cuts, Scrapes and Puncture Wounds - Medical Care Question: Please share your experience with seeking medical care for a cut, scrape, or puncture wound.
Cuts, Scrapes and Puncture Wounds - Infection Question: Please share your experience with a cut, scrape, or puncture wound that became infected.
Source: MedicineNet.com
http://www.medicinenet.com/cuts_scrapes_and_puncture_wounds/article.htm

Women's Health

Find out what women really need.

Cuts, Scrapes and Puncture Wounds Related Articles
advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations

NIH talks about Ebola on WebMD