Not all skin injuries are cuts and scrapes. Heat, friction and pressure can cause skin injuries like burns, sunburn and blisters. A burn is a traumatic skin injury caused by a heat source like scalding liquid or a hot pot, a radiation source like the suns rays, an electrical source like open wiring or a chemical source like acid. Depending on the severity of the burn, treatment can include wound care and pain management, skin grafting, intravenous fluids or cosmetic surgery. Some burns can form blisters, which actually act as a protective, fluid-filled buffer for damaged skin. Blisters also form from skin conditions like eczema and friction sources like ill-fitting shoes. Keeping the area clean with antibiotics and a dressing or bandage is usually enough to heal a blister.
1 AnswerThe best way to clean a minor cut is to rinse it immediately with warm water. Don't use hydrogen peroxide, which could irritate the wound. You can clean the skin around the cut using a washcloth and a gentle soap.
1 AnswerPicking a scab is a bad idea. Think of these hard, reddish patches on the skin as nature's bandage. Scabs form over wounds to protect against germs while your skin heals. Picking a scab can leave a wound unprotected. Let a scab fall off naturally, which will usually occur in about a week or so, when healthy skin has reformed over the wound.
1 AnswerDon't clean a scab. The best thing you can do is to leave a scab alone. If you soak the scab in water and it comes off, you've lost the important skin protection needed for healing. Usually a scab falls off on its own in a week or two. By that time, new, healthy skin will appear.
If the scab becomes itchy after a week or so, ask your doctor about over-the-counter treatment that can help soothe the skin, minimize scarring, and relieve itching.
1 AnswerThe key players in scabs are cells in the blood called platelets. When your skin is cut or scraped, you bleed. As blood is exposed to air, platelets rush to the scene and begin sticking together. They work with proteins called fibrin and other substances to form a scab, which is basically a blood clot on the skin.
1 AnswerIf a cut (laceration) is minor, it can be treated with home care:
- Allow the cut to bleed freely for several seconds to help clean it out.
- Cleanse the cut by rinsing it under slow-running tap water.
- Remove any foreign matter gently with clean tweezers.
- Apply a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution to clean the cut if desired.
- Press a clean cotton pad over the cut for a few minutes to stop the bleeding.
- Apply a bandage if exposing the cut would cause it to reopen.
- A puncture wound should be left uncovered and soaked in warm, soapy water 2 to 3 times per day for 4 to 5 days to allow the germs to drain from it.
1 AnswerReasons to call a healthcare professional for a cut:
- There is numbness or tingling in area.
- The cut is made by a sharp object that might have rust or dirt on it.
- A foreign object is embedded inside the cut.
- You can see fat gaping through the edges of the cut.
- You are concerned about scarring on the face or any other part of the body.
- The cut becomes infected. This will take at least 24 hours. The signs of infection are redness on the uninjured skin around the wound, increased tenderness, pus, red streaks, swelling, warmth in the area, or a fever.
- It has been more than 10 years since your last tetanus shot.
1 AnswerReasons to seek emergency help for a cut (laceration):
- A really deep cut damaging major blood vessels, arteries, nerves, or tendons
- Bleeding heavily or if bleeding does not stop after applying pressure for 10 minutes
- A cut resulting from a serious injury or an accident
1 AnswerAn incision heals faster than a laceration because straight edges create less surface area to repair than jagged edges. Also, straight edges match up better than jagged edges. (This answer provided for NATA by the Weber State University Athletic Training Education Program.)
1 AnswerBite marks are lacerations if the skin is broken. An injury where skin is torn, like a picked scab, is also a laceration. (This answer provided for NATA by the Weber State University Athletic Training Education Program.)
1 AnswerIt’s nearly impossible to eliminate a scar with a beauty product. Once you have a scar, it’s there for good. Creams can soften the look of scars and reduce their appearance and discoloration, but only plastic surgery can truly tame a really angry scar or stretch mark.