Cuts and scrapes: Part 2

As I wrote about yesterday, minor cuts and scrapes can be nursed back to health with some basic skills and a little bit of love. (Ah….)

I love summertime and the laziness of it all. But an injury always created a bit of panic, but my mom always avoided using our health care insurance by taking care of my wounds herself. Here is the rest of the tips to take care of your own wounds, and saving your money for something else (perhaps a snow-cone?).

  • After you clean your wound, stop the bleeding and add the bandage, you need to take care of the bandage. You should not keep the bandage (bandaid or otherwise) on until the wound heals. It will get yucky really fast. My rule: keep the bandage on during the day to keep out dirt, germs and anything else you would encounter when you are outside having fun. But when you go to sleep, take the bandage off to let the wound breathe. This will help with the healing process, and when you sleep you should not be exposed to many germs. (Unless you have bed bugs, but then you have another set of problems.) Keep redoing this over and over until your wound has a hard scab or has healed enough that nothing will affect it without the bandage during the day.
  • Keep an eye on your wound. If the edges start to get really red or it starts to ooze pus (gross), then you might have an infection. Some infections can be healed with an antibiotic, but you will have to go to the doctor for a prescription. Notice the area around the wound: is it swelling? Are there red streaks? Does it hurt more? These are all signs of an infection. Get yourself to the doctor. Infections are trouble.
  • Leave your wound alone. This is mostly for vanity sake, but do not pick your scab. This can be tempting for so called ‘pickers’, but this will diminish the look of your scar. You see, picking your scab is like re-injuring yourself over and over. Leave it alone, and you can also avoid getting bacteria from your picking fingers.
  • Know when it is out of your control. Only once growing up did I have to visit the doctor for a wound. I was hit by a pvc pipe by a neighbor boy (trouble all the time) right above my eye. I could not even make it past the first item on the list: stop the bleeding. It bled profusely. After applying pressure for a while, it did slow the bleeding but the skin was split. To avoid a gruesome scar, I was rushed to an after hours doctor. Instead of using traditional stitches, the doctor used medical super glue to seal the wound together to reduce the look of scars. If the wound is deep, will not stop bleeding or is a puncture, seek professional medical help. It is out of your control.