Did you know that medical professionals actually advise against cleaning a cut with hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol? While this may have been something your mom taught you to do to clean the wound, these harsh liquids can harm the tissue and delay the cut from healing. If you receive a minor cut from slicing a bagel or rubbing up against something sharp, take the following measures to help make sure that the cut heals well:
How to handle a fresh cut:
- Stop the bleeding by applying pressure to the wound
- Clean the wound with cool, clean water
- Apply a light layer of antibiotic cream or petroleum jelly
- Apply a clean bandage over the wound
- Watch for signs of infection
Signs that your cut has become infected include increased pain, redness, warmth, and swelling around the cut, red streaks leading from the cut, and pus or discharge draining from the cut. You may also begin running a fever.
Additionally, if you’re cut by something rusty and/or dirty, you may need a tetanus shot in order to prevent infection. Tetanus is a serious and potentially fatal disease that’s caused by a bacterial infection. Tetanus bacteria infects people when they are cut by something dirty or rusty (like a nail) that has bacteria on it. If you’re an adult, a tetanus shot is recommended every 10 years, regardless of when the last time you’ve suffered a laceration. However, if you’ve been cut by something that you suspect may have been infected, and you havent received a shot in the last five years, you should receive a tetanus booster shot.
To prevent scarring, infection, and receive a tetanus shot, seek treatment at an urgent care center and you can help ensure that your cut heals properly and without incident.