We’ve all been there. It’s Sunday afternoon and we’re prepping what seems like an endless plate of pumpkin, potatoes, carrot, onion, and all other assorted roast veggies when suddenly we slip up and, youch, a deep cut to the finger. It’s enough to make some want to faint, whilst others immediately think, “damn, how long’s this thing gonna take to heal?”
Luckily, with the help of 3M medical tape and this handy step-by-guide wound care guide, you shouldn’t expect that nasty gash to stick around for too long:
Wash your hands
There is absolutely no point in treating a wound with dirty hands, as any muck on the dresser’s hands can easily enter the recipient’s wound – wash clean with soap, water, and a little hand sani if you have some leftovers from the COVID-pinnacle days.
Control the bleeding
The next thing you want to do is stop the bleeding, so apply pressure to the cut. Do this using a clean bandage or cloth, remembering to raise the wound area above the heart level, as gravity will go to work on slowing the blood flow in this situation.
Clean the wound
Now it’s time to clean that wound with running water. Do this for around five minutes (or more if necessary!). You can apply soap around the wounded area but avoid putting it inside, as this will irritate the cut. Seek medical assistance if there is any large debris embedded in the wound as you don’t want it lodged in there for the healing process.
You can also use a saline solution to help with wound cleaning, dipping gauze into the solution and using it to provide the wound with proper cleaning. Unlike antiseptics, the saline solution won’t damage the tissues. Finally, be sure to pat the area dry with a wad of tissues or some clean towel.
Apply an antibacterial ointment
If the cut isn’t such a big deal, apply an antibacterial ointment to prevent any infection from occurring.
Provide wound protection
The next thing to do is protect the wound with a sterile dressing and secure it in place with a bandage (one with a non-adhesive pad is always a good option!). This prevents the wound from increasing in size as well as protects the skin surrounding the wound. Finally, it applies pressure to the wound which helps with healing. Read more about How to stop bleeding from shaving?
Change the dressing daily
It is important to change the dressing at least once daily, or more frequently if the dressing becomes soiled or wet. Before changing the dressing, be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water and clean the wound carefully with saline solution or clean water. It’s also important to use sterile dressing materials, such as gauze or bandages, and to secure the dressing in place to keep the wound clean and protected.
It’s a good practice to monitor the wound for signs of healing, such as new tissue growth and decreased redness, swelling, and pain. If the wound has a yellowish discharge, bleeds upon contact, or is dark red in color, it’s important to seek medical attention as these could be signs of infection or other complications.