How to treat cuts and scrapes what not to do!
How to treat cuts and scrapes,
A cut to the flesh can take the form of a deep wound that needs expert medical attention and probably stitching, followed by some after care. For most people such injuries will be a rare occurrence. On the other hand we can probably all say that we have suffered a number of minor cuts to various parts of the body over the years. Children, especially, are prone to falling down and sustaining such minor injuries. What we do with them, to make them better, is quite important.
Minor cuts can be, at best, a minor irritation but, at worst, they can be a source of a great deal of pain. Treated wrongly they may end up hurting more as time goes on and may even get infected. Unfortunately there are still some old fashioned ideas around about how best to treat a minor wound. Some have no benefit whatsoever while others can make things a lot worse. Here are a couple of examples:
- Peroxide. This used to be a fairly common remedy. The idea was that a little peroxide sprinkled onto a minor cut would immediately sterilise the area and, indeed, it can do that. The fizzing effect could be quite spectacular, like having an alka seltzer drink poured onto the skin. Unfortunately, as well as doing the sterilising bit, it could also kill perfectly healthy cells within the skin. These healthy cells are essential for preventing infection so the application of peroxide is a waste of time. It’s also very painful by the way, pouring something so acidic on an open wound, no matter how minor.
- Honey. This is a “remedy” favoured in some remote areas of the world such as the jungle but there is no real medical evidence to prove that it works. It is believed that if you pour a little honey on the wound, even as a temporary measure before getting hospital treatment, this will prevent germs from entering and thus causing an infection. In fact the honey has no medicinal properties at all. It can, however, be a soothing balm when applied to a graze or a burn, if no ointments are immediately available.
So what SHOULD be done to treat a minor flesh wound? The old tried and tested method of washing it gently with a mild soap solution is the first step followed by thorough drying. Application of a good antibiotic ointment follows and then you should cover it up with a clean, sterile dressing. If infection does occur then professional medical assistance should be sought but, in most cases, the wound should heal nicely without further treatment.