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How to Treat An Open Wound

A mom putting a bandage on the knee of a preschool age girl.

If you experience a cut, scrape, or sore, it can be very concerning. The most important recommendation is to stay calm. You can take several key steps to treat a minor open wound at home; however, if you require stitches or are experiencing a severe cut, you should seek medical attention immediately. Treating your injury correctly and quickly will ensure the wound heals properly and reduce the risk of infection.

This article covers the steps you should take to treat an open wound.

1. Clean the Wound

The first step to caring for an open wound is to clean the wound deeply. Use water and mild soap to clean the area around the wound gently. Do not scrub the skin or wound itself. Your goal is to remove any dirt or debris that may cause infection.

2. Apply Topical Antibiotic or Antiseptic to the Wound

Once the area is cleaned and there are no signs of debris or fragments around the wound, apply an ointment to the injury. This will help protect against bacteria and other microorganisms that can lead to infection. NuNature First Aid Gel is an antibiotic-free solution to minor wound care if you are allergic to antibiotics such as neomycin and bacitracin. Apply to the wound to create a barrier against bacteria. In addition, NuNature First Aid Gel also contains lidocaine for fast pain relief. Apply to scrapes, burns, and minor cuts.

3. Cover the Wound

Next, use a new, clean bandage to cover the wound. A dirty or wet bandage can increase your risk of infection, so check the area is clean and dry. This will also add another barrier to the injury and help keep the ointment in place. The dressing should be changed regularly, and you should also reapply as directed.

4. Monitor the Wound for Infection

Once the wound is cleaned and wrapped, monitor the area for infection. See medical assistance if the wound becomes red, swollen, or warm to the touch. Other signs of infection include pus or other discharge from the wound. If this is the case, contact your physician immediately.

If you have not received a tetanus shot in the past five years, you should consider this as part of your treatment.

5. Give Your Wound Air

Another critical part of wound care is oxygen! Air helps the wound heal and can actually speed up recovery. While a bandage helps protect the wound from bacteria, you'll want to ensure it is breathable and allows for air to circulate.

6.  Fuel Your Body

Nourishment starts from within! While your body fights potential infection and naturally mends itself, ensure you're fueling your body with healthy nutrients. Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and vitamins and minerals. You must stay hydrated too!

When Should You See a Doctor?

See a doctor if the wound shows signs of infection. You should see a doctor for immediate treatment in case of large or deep wounds. This is especially true if the injury is actively bleeding or if you can see muscle, bone, or other internal tissues. Your doctor may close the wound with sutures or staples, which can drastically help reduce the risk of infection.