How to Perform Basic First Aid on Cuts and Lacerations

Unfortunately, cuts and lacerations are just a part of life. We all deal with them at one point or another, but it’s safe to say not everyone knows how to administer basic first aid to make sure those cuts and other wounds heal properly.

Our AFC Urgent Care Fountain City team is here to walk you through how properly care for your or your loved one’s cuts and lacerations, so keep reading!

  • Here’s what to do: Wash your hands first. This will help you avoid infecting the cut or laceration.

  • What to do next: Stop the bleeding. Minor cuts and scrapes usually stop bleeding on their own, but deeper lacerations don’t. You can help stop the bleeding by applying gentle pressure on the cut with a clean bandage or cloth and elevating the wound until the bleeding stops.

  • What to do after: Clean the wound by rinsing it with water. Also, be sure to wash around the wound, not directly on the wound, with soap. Additionally, remove any leftover dirt or debris with sanitized tweezers.

  • After that: Dress the wound. Apply a bandage, rolled gauze or gauze held in place with paper tape. Dressing and covering the wound keeps it clean. If the injury is just a minor scrape or scratch that has quickly stopped bleeding, leave it uncovered.

  • Next: If the cut is small, apply an antibiotic ointment, like Neosporin. Petroleum jelly works the same, too. Using these things will help prevent scarring and infection and encourage quicker healing. If your cut or laceration is deeper, however, it’s best to just keep your wound dressing fresh.

  • Action steps to take: For deeper cuts or lacerations, change the dressing often to keep it fresh. This will ensure that the laceration or wound is given the optimal conditions to heal.

  • Doctor recommendations: If your laceration is more than half an inch long or deep, has ragged edges or is open so wide that you can’t get the edges together with a minimal amount of pressure, visit our AFC center to get it stitched up. Even if you don’t know whether your laceration needs to be stitched up, getting the correct diagnosis from one of our providers will give you peace of mind and will ensure that the wound heals properly.

  • Lastly: Watch for signs of infection. Things like redness, increasing pain, drainage, warmth and swelling are signs that the cut is infected, so visit our AFC center immediately if this happens.

If you need additional medical attention for your cut or laceration, don’t hesitate to visit our AFC Urgent Care Fountain City center today! We’re here for you now and always.