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What is a Laceration and How Do You Treat Them?

A laceration is a deep cut in the skin usually caused by sharp objects such as knives, tools, and machinery.

While lacerations shouldn’t be something to worry about unless it’s deep and continuously bleeds, it’s beneficial to know how to treat them to avoid further implications.

That being said, below are some useful steps you can follow in treating lacerations.

Observe Cleanliness

An open wound can serve as a doorway for germs and bacteria to get inside the body so before touching the wound and proceed with treatment, make sure that everything’s sanitized.

Wash your hands diligently and prepare some cotton and isopropyl alcohol that you will use to clean the wound and wipe off blood at the same time.

If you have a pair of clean gloves, use them to reduce the risk of infection.

Control the Bleeding

Lacerations tend to bleed a lot which is why it needs to be controlled to avoid blood loss. Put pressure directly on the laceration for about 15 minutes as much as possible.

If the bleeding doesn’t stop, take the person to the hospital so he or she can be given proper care. This is why it’s important to determine how deep the laceration is because a deeper cut may require professional help.

Wash the Wound Warm Water

If you managed to stop the bleeding, the next step is to wash the wound (and the surrounding area) with mild soap and warm water.

Do take note that bleeding may continue or start again when you’re dealing with deeper cuts so if that happens, just repeat the steps previously mentioned. The point is to control the bleeding because you don’t want the person who sustained the cut to lose blood.

Determine if the Wound Needs Stitches

Deeper and wider cuts usually require stitches to close them up. While lacerations will still eventually heal even without stitches, it’s better to get them stitched to keep bacteria and infection out and help them heal fast.

If the victim’s wound is too deep or too wide and requires stitches, make sure to bring the person immediately to the nearest emergency room.

Use Antiseptic for Smaller Wounds that Don’t Require Stitches

If the wound is small enough and does not require stitches, it is best to use an antiseptic ointment to close the wound.

This type of medication will not only keep the wound clean, but it will also prevent the formation of scars in the skin.

Cover the Wound

Stitches and antiseptic ointments are not enough to protect wounds so make sure to cover them up with sterile gauze and tape as well.

This step has two purposes. One is to protect the wound from infection and two is to keep you from further aggravating it which may happen if you accidentally bump or scratch the wound against other surfaces.

Change the Dressing Daily

Wound care doesn’t end with the steps mentioned. Apart from getting the wound all cleaned up and covered, you still need to watch out for possible infection.

To keep this from happening, make sure to clean the wound apart from changing its dressing daily. Lacerations should heal over time but if you notice some swelling or pus starts to appear, it would be best to contact a doctor.

Take Meds for Pain Relief

No matter the size, lacerations can be very painful. If the pain becomes too unbearable and it starts affecting your productivity, try to take some medicines that promote pain relief like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

Final Thoughts

The biggest mistake you’ll ever make is to take lacerations for granted especially if it’s relatively small. Without proper care, these small wounds can get infected and lead to more serious problems that can put your health at a bigger risk.

The steps provided should help you treat and manage lacerations better so you can avoid blood loss and infection from happening.

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