- : See a doctor immediately if your cut is extremely deep, won't stop bleeding, or appears infected.
- Step 1: Clean the cut Wash your hands thoroughly, and clean your cut with a mild soap under lukewarm running water. Make sure you get all the dirt out of the cut, and if necessary, scrub it gently with a clean washcloth.
- TIP: Hard rubbing or scalding water may damage the skin around the cut further.
- Step 2: Use an antibiotic ointment Apply an antibiotic ointment to the cut to speed healing and prevent infection.
- TIP: Avoid hydrogen peroxide and vitamin E Avoid hydrogen peroxide. It actually destroys new skin cells, making it harder for your cut to heal. Also, steer clear of vitamin E. It doesn't make a noticeable difference in helping your skin heal.
- Step 3: Keep it moist Studies show that moist wounds heal faster and better than dry ones, so keep your cut covered with antibiotic ointment and a sterile bandage. Change the dressing as necessary for about a week. When you remove the bandage for good, coat the cut lightly with petroleum jelly.
- TIP: If you've got a significant wound, talk to your doctor about using silicone gel sheets and other methods to minimize scarring.
- Step 4: Stay out of the sun A sunburn can damage the skin of your already-tender cut even further, and UV rays may discolor the area, making the wound more likely to leave a substantial mark. When you go outdoors, use a sunblock with a high SPF, and stay in the shade.
- FACT: Scabs slow down the healing process; the dried crust forces new skin cells to work harder to repair a wound.
You Will Need
- Running water and mild soap
- Self-adhesive bandages
- Antibiotic ointment
- Petroleum jelly
- Silicone gel sheets