Dealing with Minor Cuts and Scrapes

Minor cuts and scrapes can often be treated at home with first aid, but deeper wounds will require medical attention.

Cuts and scrapes are very common injuries, and minor ones can usually be treated at home. Because accidents are unpredictable, you should always keep a well-stocked first aid kit in your home and another one in your vehicle. That way, if you ever need to tend to a skinned knee or nicked finger, you’ll be ready. 

However, some cuts and scrapes do require medical attention. For example, if you broke a glass while washing dishes and cut yourself, and the wound won’t stop bleeding, you’ll need to go to urgent care for stitches. Or if your kid was riding their bike and wiped out in some gravel, and there’s dirt and debris trapped underneath their skin, the wound will need to be cleaned by a medical professional so it doesn’t fester.

Here’s how to treat a minor cut or scrape with first aid, and how to tell when you should go to urgent care instead.

How to Apply First Aid for Cuts and Scrapes

  1. First, wash your hands so you don’t contaminate the wound.
  2. Rinse the wound under cold running water to cleanse it. You can use a mild soap or a sterile wet wipe to wash the area around the wound. 
  3. Cover the wound with clean gauze and apply gentle pressure until the bleeding stops.
  4. Apply antibiotic ointment to help prevent infections. NOTE: Antibiotic ointments can irritate some people’s skin. If the ointment causes a rash, use petroleum jelly (Vaseline) instead.
  5. Apply an adhesive bandage or clean gauze with first aid tape.

More severe cuts and scrapes will require urgent care. To ensure proper healing:

  • Don’t try to remove any debris that is stuck inside the wound.  
  • If possible, clean the area around the wound with water and diluted liquid soap. Do not use hydrogen peroxide, as it can damage the skin tissue.  
  • Apply pressure to the wound, and elevate it to help slow the bleeding.

When to Go to Urgent Care

  • If a cut is longer than half an inch, or deeper than a quarter inch, it will probably need stitches. 
  • If a cut won’t stop bleeding, you definitely need to seek medical attention. 
  • If there is an object or debris stuck inside the wound, a medical professional will need to remove it.
  • If you were wounded by an animal or by a rusty object, you may need to get a tetanus shot or antibiotics.
  • If you notice any signs of infection such as redness, swelling, or oozing, go to urgent care.
  • If you fainted or vomited after you cut yourself, you should be examined. 

Urgent Care for Cuts and Wounds in Bullard, Texas

For fast and convenient walk-in treatment, visit our clinic at 613 S Dr. M Roper Parkway anytime between 7am and 7pm Monday through Saturday. We have clinics throughout East-Central Texas and the Dallas Fort Worth area as well—check our locations page to find the Total Point clinic nearest you.

Photo by Diana Polekhina on Unsplash used with permission under the Creative Commons license for commercial use 6/17/2024.

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