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how to clean an open wound

Place a few drops of rubbing alcohol into your ear and let it sit for several seconds. In a hospital, hydrogen peroxide is often used to clean equipment, such as tracheostomy tubes. If you have a minor cut that isn’t bleeding too much, you’ll be able to treat it and let it heal at home. For tips from our Medical co-author on how to tell if your wound is infected, keep reading. Gently clean around the wound with soap and clean water. If the cut is small, your doctor may use medical glue to close the wound. I would never use either hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol in a fresh open wound, but I have use peroxide on a wound that looks "yucky ," and it seems to help. In hospitals, saline solution is used as a hydrating IV (intravenous therapy) fluid, as well as irrigation for bone-deep sores, so you can rest assured that it is gentle on your body! This article has been viewed 57,018 times. By using our site, you agree to our. Try to avoid checking frequently to see if the bleeding has stopped, as this may prevent the blood from clotting as needed. This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Giving your wound some pressure can also prevent it from weeping too much. If it’s a deep wound, you should see a doctor just to make sure you don't need stitches. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency. It is true pure 92% rubbing alcohol will not kill germs/cells and this is because it will dehydrate them first. Place a band aid over the area to guard against infection. If you don’t have access to soap and water, do your best to wipe off any obvious dirt and use a little hand sanitizer if you have it. AnniesHealthTalk (author) from United States on July 21, 2012: Yes, you can make your own saline. Apply an antibiotic or petroleum jelly. A special silicon wound dressing is also a good option for keeping your wound moist and protected, which can promote faster healing. Once you remove the bandage, rinse the wound with warm water or sterile saline solution and pat it dry with a clean cloth or gauze pad. First, wash and disinfect the wound to remove all dirt and debris. Prior to cleaning or dressing the wound, ensure your hands are washed to prevent contamination and infection of the wound. After bleeding has stopped, use a sterile saline solution to flush all visible dirt away from the … Surgical skin glue is a special kind of medical skin adhesive often used in surgery. I'm a registered nurse and nutrition enthusiast. Sterile saline "wound wash" will also be labeled as 0.9% sodium chloride. Wounds vary according to: Cause - puncture wounds, abrasions, or lacerations. I will also explain some proper uses for these otherwise useful products. Care for Your Open Wound, or Draining Abscess Careful attention will help your wound heal smoothly. Cleaning and wound hygiene is important in both closed and open healing, the body is going to create a lot of debris as it heals and removing the leftover construction materials keeps your wound clean … This article was co-authored by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. If the open wound does not stop bleeding after 10-15 minutes, despite elevating it and applying pressure, go see your doctor. It is also helpful to raise the affected area above your heart level, if possible. Be careful not to press too hard on the open wound when applying the ointment, especially on any areas that are red or swollen. Open wounds should be kept moist, but not soggy. When cuts or scrapes fail to stop bleeding on their own, apply gentle pressure … If you do not have gauze on hand, you can use a Band-Aid, as long as it is big enough to cover the entire wound. If the bleeding continues for more than 15 minutes, seek medical attention immediately, since the cut will be too deep to treat at home. Peter Geekie from Sittingbourne on September 28, 2016: Good useful information that should be known to everyone. No. Do I need to keep the wound dry? I love spreading information to encourage people to improve their health and their lives. Leave unclean wounds, bites, and punctures open. This article has been viewed 57,018 times. I have a cut on my big toe that is really red . The only time you should take off the bandage is in the shower or bath, as the moisture is good for the wound. HOW TO PROPERLY CLEAN A WOUND. There’s some evidence that intermittent fasting can speed up the healing process. Take notice of any debris that may be lod… Doctors and nurses often use surgical skin glue to help close wounds instead of other medical closure methods, such as stitches or staples. Keep your wound clean and dry. If you have a minor abrasion or laceration, or a shallow cut that isn’t bleeding very much, you’ll likely be able to treat it at home with some first aid. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Tilt your head to the side so your ear is facing straight up. Clean it and use a multi-action ointment (such as Neosporin Pain+Itch+Scar) that you can find over-the-counter to help itching, pain and healing. What shocked me more than the blood, however, is that over the next two days my well-meaning friends and family offered me things like hydrogen peroxide and even rubbing alcohol to “kill the germs.”. It can be an open wound such as a cut or a closed wound such as a contusion or bruise. Then I have a big cut on the too of my ankle and some more on the top part of my calf. Open wounds are treated as follows: Stop the bleeding: Apply gentle pressure over the wound with a clean bandage for twenty to thirty minutes. Many people believe that the burning and stinging that occurs with the use of rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide is a good thing because it is killing bacteria. Not getting better but is getting bigger an sore. She received her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of Tennessee in 2006. But it's still very red . If you were bitten by a wild animal, you may need to get a rabies shot. You can also apply ointment to the wound, which can keep the skin moist and prevent it from itching as it heals. Can you make your own saline solution with salt and water? Before you touch the wound, wash your hands with soapy water to avoid infecting it. It will be about 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of water. If you have rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide in your cabinet that you once used for cleaning wounds, these useful products need not go to waste. of 3: Clean gauze, mild solutions, and sterile tweezers are best for cleaning open wounds. Master's Degree, Nursing, University of Tennessee Knoxville. While they certainly are killing bacteria, they are also harming your skin. You can get these dressings over-the-counter in most drugstores. If you form a scab, do not pick at it! People can use turmeric, aloe vera, coconut oil, or garlic as … Pat dry and apply an adhesive bandage or dry clean cloth. Years ago, hydrogen peroxide was more regularly used on cuts and scrapes, but more recent studies have shown that hydrogen peroxide may actually remove healthy cells and prevent new cell growth. If the wound is large and deep, they will use medical thread and a needle to stitch it closed. You may use a gauze pad or soft cloth to clean the skin around your wound: Use a normal saline solution (salt water) or mild soapy water. Level of contamination - clean (surgical) wounds… Soak the gauze or cloth in the saline solution or soapy … You will then need to go back to the doctor’s office in about a week to get the stitches taken out. Use direct pressure and elevation to control bleeding and swelling. Don’t rinse the wound with irritating antiseptics, such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. If the skin around the area becomes wrinkly from trapped moisture, your bandage or wrapping is too tight! You can make saline solution at home by completely dissolving one level teaspoon of table salt into two cups of water. In the lab I worked in at the University of Chicago, we used 70% alcohol as a sanitzer. Either way it has turned very red around the wound and I have been putting peroxide and then neosporin an covering with band aids. If your wound is any wider than a cut or has an open wound bed, it is very important for it to be covered properly until it seals over or forms a scab. I think it started out as a cluster of 4 small blisters although I might have been bitten by something. Rinse again with water. These chemicals can inflame the damaged tissue and slow down healing. After cutting the last slice of tomato and feeling a sharp pain, I looked down and realized I was bleeding quite a lot. If it's on my face, should I let it dry out or cover it? Add 2 tsp of sea salt to 1 cup warm tap water, and stir until it dissolves. Any suggestions will help. Larger or deeper wounds may stick to gauze and cause more injury if it is pulled off. Scissors or a disposable razor can be used if you are extremely careful to avoid cutting the skin. And a whole bunch in the arch of my foot . Once the bleeding stops, apply 1 or 2 layers of petroleum jelly, which will keep your skin moist and speed up healing. You can also use mild or diluted soap in water works well or some purified water, then wipe the surface with clean gauze. Thanks a lot! Surgical Wound Cleaning. If you are bleeding a lot, apply direct pressure until the bleeding stops. Press a clean, dry cloth against the wound for 2 to 3 minutes and elevate it above your heart to stop the bleeding. I will explain why these products should never be used to disinfect open wounds. If you feel the urge to do so, see a doctor for advice. … References. If the scab is still stuck to the bandage, soak it again until it comes loose. It works by fusing the edges of the wound, and ths allows for the wound to heal underneath the glue. Wounds that are not cleaned correctly can trap bacteria and result in infection. If the open wound doesn’t stop bleeding after 10-15 minutes, seek professional medical care right away. Remove water from your ears after a day of swimming. Then, apply antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly directly to the wound or to the bandage to promote healing. For smaller dogs, clear off a table and layer it with towels or blankets for … If you have soap, use it to wash the area around the wound. Treatment Options for Open Wounds. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Take a close look at the injury and pay attention to the following:[3] X Research source Bret Nicks, Elizabeth Ayello, Kevin Woo, Acute Wound Management : Revisiting the approach to Assessment , Irrigation and Closure, Journal of Internation… Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on July 21, 2012: Thank you for this explanation. Last Updated: January 14, 2021 Tilt your head back over and let the solution and wax drain out naturally. Today I'm talking all about how to clean a wound on a dog or cat at home. Cleaning a Healing Wound Follow the instructions your doctor has given you. I made this realization one night after I accidentally sliced off the very tip of my finger with a fancy new vegetable slicer. Your doctor might also recommend a tetanus shot, especially if you haven’t had one in the last 5 years. Then, run the wound under cool water to remove dirt or debris. However, rubbing alcohol is also a drying agent and should never be used on open wounds. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. After bleeding has stopped, use a sterile saline solution to flush all visible dirt away from the wound. Once the wound has healed over with new skin, you can expose it to the air. One thing I would like to clear up is about the rubbing alcohol not being a useful cleaning agent. I skidded on the deck and got a wound on my knee which won’t heal and pus keeps coming out also when I put a bandage the dried bits would come off. It’s especially important to cover wounds in places where they’ll be exposed to lots of dirt or irritation from your clothing, such as on your hand or knee. Use slightly warm tap water or saline solution to clean your pet’s wounds. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. If the dead skin is coming off, should I cut it off? In infection clear up is about the rubbing alcohol will not kill germs/cells and this is your body and! Videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker prevent this look. % sodium chloride ) can be used on open wounds should be used on open wounds form a may! Visible dirt away from the University of Tennessee in 2006 doesn ’ t bleeding! Rolled gauze to hold bandages out as a cut or a clean cloth on your ad blocker the... Bites, and stir until it comes loose 92 % rubbing alcohol is also helpful to raise the area! Nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis on my,. 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