Skin Injury

Skin Injury

Skin Injury
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.

Recently Answered

  • 1 Answer
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    To change a dressing, you will need supplies. These may include a no-sting skin barrier film, skin prep, tape, medicine, non-sterile gloves, adhesive remover, gauze sponges or pads, sterile normal saline, gauze wrap or dressing, scissors, other dressings and a plastic trash bag. Do the following:
    • Wash your hands with soap and warm water or an alcohol-based hand rub.
    • Put on the gloves.
    • Slowly lift the edges of the dressing or tape. If it sticks to the skin, dab the edges with an adhesive remover, a moistened gauze pad or a moistened paper towel.
    • Hold down the skin surrounding the bandaged area.
    • Lift the edges of the dressing toward the center of the wound, then gently lift it from the wound.
    • If the dressing sticks to the wound, soak it with saline solution to help loosen it.
    • Carefully discard the old dressing into a plastic trash bag and tie it closed. Put that bag into a second plastic bag and throw it away.
    • Remove the gloves and wash your hands again.
    Next you will need to clean the wound. After you remove the dressing, you may see a thick yellow gummy film over your wound. It means the dressing is keeping the wound moist, which helps it to heal. Gently wash it off when you change the dressing:
    • Put on new gloves.
    • Place a towel under the wound.
    • Wet a gauze sponge or pad with saline or water.
    • Start at the center of the wound. Dab in circles out to 1 inch past the edge of the wound. Do not go from the outer edges of the wound back toward the center. This could spread germs into the wound.
    • Be sure to clean away any liquid draining from the wound.
    • Throw out your cloth or gauze and get a new one as often as you need to.
    • Rinse the wound again with a new gauze pad to remove any loose debris not removed by the first cleaning.
    • Throw the cleaning materials into a plastic trash bag.
    • Dry the skin surrounding the wound by patting it with a soft clean towel.
    • Check the wound for redness, drainage, swelling or odor.
    • New tissue at the bottom of the wound should be light red or pink and look lumpy or glossy. Do not disturb this tissue. It is very fragile and will bleed easily.
    Next, apply a new dressing:
    • Open the new dressing and remove it from the package. Touch only the corners of the dressing. Cut it to size if necessary.
    • Apply a skin barrier to the skin around the wound.
    • Carefully center the dressing over the wound.
    • Secure the dressing in place with tape.
    • Remove the gloves and wash your hands.
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    A answered
    If 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.
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    Although there are a myriad of ways to treat skin injuries-some of which involve skin grafting and surgery-medications are used primarily for two reasons.
    1. Preventing Infection: If you're suffering from a skin injury, you may be given oral antibiotics to help prevent infection, in addition to topical antibiotics on the wound.
    2. Treating Pain: Oral painkillers may be given for individuals who are experiencing a very painful skin injury, such as a severe burn.
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    The type of treatment you receive for your skin injury will be determined on the kind of skin injury it is and the severity of the injury. The following are a few common treatments.

    Burns: If the burn is not serious, only affecting the top and a small portion of the second skin layer, you can try to cool the skin down on your own. If it is painful, you may take an over-the-counter pain reliever. If it is a severe burn, you will need a doctor's or medical personnel's attention to be treated with IV fluids to prevent dehydration, antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection, pain medication, wrappings, skin grafts, and surgery, depending on the level of severity.

    Scars: Scars are the natural treatment for skin injuries. Keloids-an overgrown type of scar-generally do not cause medical problems. They can be aesthetically unpleasing and, occasionally, limit mobility, though. Doctors can help you make them less noticeable by injecting them with corticosteroid treatments, freezing them, using lasers or applying radiation, and even surgically removing them.

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    A Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered on behalf of

    If your incision is closed with Steri-Strips:

    • Wash your incision gently with mild soap and water. Gently dry the area. You may shower two days after your implant, but do not directly spray or scrub your incision.
    • Allow the Steri-Strips to fall off; do not pull them off.
    • If you have a clear dressing over the incision, ask your doctor when it should be removed.

    Watch your incision for signs of infection such as fever, redness, swelling, tenderness, or drainage. Report these to your doctor right away.

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    A Plastic Surgery, answered on behalf of
    If you’ve had an abdominal surgery, your incision will take longer to heal than the smaller incisions from a laparoscopic surgery. But basic care for the incisions is the same. Here’s what to do:

    You may take a shower after the first 48 hours, but do not soak in a bath, hot tub, or swimming pool. Wait until your incision is well healed (and
    any tape covering the incision has fallen off). It’s okay to sit in a few inches of warm water -- just don’t let the water reach your incision, and don’t put soap or shampoo in the water.
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    Direct pressure should be applied to stop the bleeding, and then it should be cleaned and covered. The individual should be referred to a doctor, who will inspect the cuts and determine if the person needs stitches. Facial cuts may also require antibiotics or a tetanus shot to prevent infections.

    (This answer provided for NATA by the Georgia College & State University Athletic Training Education Program.)
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    A , Pharmacy, answered

    Scratches are smaller injuries that result from a semi-sharp object scraping against your skin, forming a shallow perforated incision. You can care for a scratch by keeping it clean and covered with a bandage or antibiotic ointment.

    While caring for your scratch, you should check regularly for signs of infection. Signs of infection include redness spreading from the wound site, increasing pain, drainage, warmth, swelling and a bad odor. If you experience any sign of infection, you should contact your doctor.

  • 1 Answer
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    First aid for skin injuries consists of several steps that you can perform to decrease the risk of infection. First, you should be sure to stop any bleeding. Although most minor skin injuries stop bleeding on their own, pressure may be needed in some cases. Blood that spurts or does not stop flowing despite pressure requires emergency medical treatment.
    Second, you should make sure the skin injury is cleaned, disinfected, and wrapped. Wash your hands before taking care of the wound to prevent infection. Then wash the skin injury with water, apply an antibiotic ointment, and dress the cut or scrape. Be sure to change dressings on a daily basis, or more frequently if need be. In the case of a burn, applying antibiotic ointment is similarly important. Also, make sure to cool the skin using water to reduce pain.
    Finally, first aid requires knowing when to call a medical professional. Severe burns, massive bleeding, or a skin injury that looks infected always requires professional help.
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    A , Pharmacy, answered
    Damage to the skin on top of the foot will usually look like a redness or swelling of the skin. You can help to mend the skin and relieve pain by using ice and NSAID pain relievers. If your pain does not leave within a few days, you should talk to your doctor.