Cuts & Small Lacerations
Cuts and small lacerations refer to broken or torn areas of skin. A cut is a skin wound that results from a separation of your connective tissue, usually caused by a sharp object such as a knife, wire edge, or shard of glass. A laceration is a cut with a torn or jagged wound, not as straight as a cut.
Large cuts that may require stitches, wounds with debris that is stuck, or any sign of infection warrant an appointment with your provider.
Minor cuts can usually be treated at home with the following steps:
- Wash your hands to avoid infection
- Stop bleeding with gentle pressure with a clean bandage over the wound site and elevation
- Clean around (not in) the wound with soap and water
- Remove any debris with tweezers and dab with alcohol
- Apply an antibiotic or petroleum jelly to keep the surface moist and prevent scarring
- Cover the wound with gauze and paper tape to keep it clean or leave the wound uncovered if the cut is just a scratch or scrape
- Change the dressing at least once a day
- Ensure your tetanus shot is current (within the last 5 years) if the wound is deep
- Watch for signs of infection
See your provider if you see signs of infection in the wound or near it, such as redness, pain, excessive drainage, or swelling.
Call your Catawba Valley Healthcare provider at (828) 695-5900.