- First Aid
Cuts and Scratches
Cuts and Scratches That Can Be Healed
Cuts are wounds that reach deep inside the skin, and sometimes reach into the inner tissue of the body. Scratches are more superficial than cuts, and usually occur when the skin is contacted by a sharp object.
The skin acts as a protection barrier from the organisms that live outside in the environment. When the skin is damaged by a cut or a scratch, there exists an increased possibility that outside organisms could enter the body, causing infection, along with pain and blood loss.
Some cuts that are considered minor can be treated at home, although some cuts can go deeper in the skin and for that reason requires specialized medical help, which can repair the skin and provide the necessary stitches for the cut to heal properly.
Consult a Physician If the Cut Has Reached Deep Inside the Skin
Consult a Physician
A physician should be consulted if the cut has reached deep into the skin; there is uncontrolled bleeding; muscles, nerves, or tissues have been severely damaged; the wound edges do not seem to join together for healing; the site around the cut is extremely dirty with signs of infection; the cut is on the face, back, genitals, stomach, or over a joint.
Wash the Cut with Soap and Water
It is recommended that a cut or a scratch be washed with soap and water; then the dirt, glass, or any other material should be removed by the use of a pair of disinfected tweezers (washed in hot, soapy water and soaked in rubbing alcohol). To stop the bleeding, pressure should be applied directly to the cut with clean gauze. The use of an antibiotic or antiseptic ointment is optional.
Aspirin, or non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen, naproxen, or ketoprofen can be taken to reduce pain. By keeping the edges of the wound together you can help maintain dirt out, speed healing, and decrease the chances of scarring. By the use of butterfly bandages or steri-strips you can help keep the cut closed.
The best remedies
Wear protective clothing
Most minor cuts and scratches can heal within a few days, leaving painless scars which will become gradually less visible over a period of days or even months. Deep cuts may damage organs which can decrease their functionality, for instance an injured ligament in a finger can decrease its movement. An infected cut if left untreated can result in serious damage to the affected area.
It is advisable to wear protective clothing, such as working glasses and gloves when engaging in any type of manual outside labor. Keeping the skin moisturized will prevent unwanted injuries, as moisturized skin is less susceptible to cuts and scratches than dried skin.
Vitamins A and E are essential for the skin to heal rapidly. These vitamins can be squeezed over the affected area, as well as taken orally, or along with a multivitamin containing the A, C, E, and B complex.