What is first aid for skin injuries?

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

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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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.