how to clean an open wound

Loosen built-up ear wax. One thing I would like to clear up is about the rubbing alcohol not being a useful cleaning agent. ... Then, put on medical gloves if you can. Use electric clippers to shave the hair from around the wound. You'll need to determine the nature and severity of the wound. Can you make your own saline solution with salt and water? It's a deep wound. Picking and pulling at a scab may also cause more scarring. Quickly check the wound for protruding debris, but don't remove anything that cannot be easily removed. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency. https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-cuts/basics/art-20056711, https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Glove_Use_Information_Leaflet.pdf, https://www.lvhn.org/sites/default/files/uploads/research_education/EmergencyMedicineMedStudents/WoundCleansing.pdf, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/emergencies-and-first-aid-direct-pressure-to-stop-bleeding, https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/wound-location-first-thing-to-consider-when-deciding-if-medical-attention-is-needed/, https://www.todayswoundclinic.com/articles/managing-pain-medication-outpatient-wound-clinic, https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/treating-skin-abrasions-known-as-raspberries/, https://www.advancedtissue.com/the-best-and-worst-ideas-for-open-wounds/, https://health.clevelandclinic.org/cover-wound-air/, https://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0715/p315.html, https://blog.logansportmemorial.org/what-to-eat-to-speed-up-wound-healing, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7069085/, https://uihc.org/health-topics/get-treated-immediately-cuts-and-wounds, https://wexnermedical.osu.edu/blog/six-signs-your-wound-is-not-healing-right, https://share.upmc.com/2017/02/do-i-need-stitches/, consider supporting our work with a contribution to wikiHow. The water in your ear should dry up almost instantly! Put on new, clean … Use direct pressure and elevation to control bleeding and swelling. If you form a scab, do not pick at it! I will also explain some proper uses for these otherwise useful products. This article has been viewed 57,018 times. Can i use hydrogen peroxide on a wound? Soak the gauze or cloth in the saline solution or soapy … Use slightly warm tap water or saline solution to clean your pet’s wounds. Peter Geekie from Sittingbourne on September 28, 2016: Good useful information that should be known to everyone. Let the body heal itself. There are numerous potential causes of open wounds, and the wounds itself can be in the forms of abrasions, incisions, lacerations, or puncture wounds. This article has been viewed 57,018 times. Wounds vary according to: Cause - puncture wounds, abrasions, or lacerations. Level of contamination - clean (surgical) wounds… If you feel the urge to do so, see a doctor for advice. Today I'm talking all about how to clean a wound on a dog or cat at home. This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. If you are bleeding a lot, apply direct pressure until the bleeding stops. After cutting the last slice of tomato and feeling a sharp pain, I looked down and realized I was bleeding quite a lot. If you don’t have access to soap and water, do your best to wipe off any obvious dirt and use a little hand sanitizer if you have it. Cleaning the Wound Step 1: Flood the wound with warm water for 4 to 5 minutes. Blood helps clean wounds, so a little bleeding is good. STEP ONE: Clean out the wound with water to loosen and remove dirt and debris. It is true pure 92% rubbing alcohol will not kill germs/cells and this is because it will dehydrate them first. Wounds that are not cleaned correctly can trap bacteria and result in infection. If your wound is any wider than a cut or has an open wound bed, it is very important for it to be covered properly until it seals over or forms a scab. Clean your wound as directed with soap and water or wound cleaner. Then, run the wound under cool water to remove dirt or debris. Care for your wound as directed. If the open wound does not stop bleeding after 10-15 minutes, despite elevating it and applying pressure, go see your doctor. Pour a small amount of the solution into your ear, and let it sit for a few minutes to soften the wax. If it’s a deep wound, you should see a doctor just to make sure you don't need stitches. While they certainly are killing bacteria, they are also harming your skin. She received her Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from the University of Tennessee in 2006. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. Many people believe that the burning and stinging that occurs with the use of rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide is a good thing because it is killing bacteria. Just be sure to use bottled or distilled water, or you can boil tap water for 10 minutes to kill any bacteria and remove impurities. By signing up you are agreeing to receive emails according to our privacy policy. Master's Degree, Nursing, University of Tennessee Knoxville. Any suggestions will help. Can I put chloramphenicol powder on an open wound? Apply a thin layer of an antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly to … Something used to clean tough plastics should not be used to disinfect cuts and scrapes on your delicate skin! I love spreading information to encourage people to improve their health and their lives. … Once the bleeding stops, apply 1 or 2 layers of petroleum jelly, which will keep your skin moist and speed up healing. First, wash and disinfect the wound to remove all dirt and debris. Minor open wounds may not require medical treatment, but using OTC antibiotic ointment will help keep the wound clean. Give your wound pressure – This step is similar with the first step that you have to take when you are wounded the first time and you would like to stop your wound from bleeding. This is an old tin that was used to hold bandages. Take a close look at the injury and pay attention to the following:[3] X Research source Bret Nicks, Elizabeth Ayello, Kevin Woo, Acute Wound Management : Revisiting the approach to Assessment , Irrigation and Closure, Journal of Internation… This is your body’s natural defense to keep bacteria out and hold the skin together. Thanks a lot! What should I do if a wound is bleeding? People can use turmeric, aloe vera, coconut oil, or garlic as … Hydrogen peroxide is perhaps more gentle than rubbing alcohol, but still, it should not be used on open wounds. Apply an antibiotic or petroleum jelly. I went crabbing yesterday and I fell in the bayou on some rocks . If you were bitten by a wild animal, you may need to get a rabies shot. Most bites, from mild to severe, will need to be treated with an antibiotic, such as Augmentin. A Bit of Blood Is Good. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 57,018 times. Prior to cleaning or dressing the wound, ensure your hands are washed to prevent contamination and infection of the wound. Not getting better but is getting bigger an sore. If it's on my face, should I let it dry out or cover it? For tips from our Medical co-author on how to tell if your wound is infected, keep reading. Last Updated: January 14, 2021 You can find saline solution in the first-aid section of a pharmacy. Keep the area clean and protected from further injury. Tilt your head back over and let the solution and wax drain out naturally. Then, apply antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly directly to the wound or to the bandage to promote healing. Your doctor can also advise you on the best way to treat the wound. However, rubbing alcohol is also a drying agent and should never be used on open wounds. Avoid using Q-tips, which often push ear wax further into the ear. Flush the wound surface and interior as you can with a mild solution. You may be killing germs, but you will also be causing a lot of unnecessary pain and delaying the healing process. It’s especially important to cover wounds in places where they’ll be exposed to lots of dirt or irritation from your clothing, such as on your hand or knee. Clean gauze, mild solutions, and sterile tweezers are best for cleaning open wounds. 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\n<\/p><\/div>"}. Place a band aid over the area to guard against infection. It will be about 1 teaspoon of salt per cup of water. A special silicon wound dressing is also a good option for keeping your wound moist and protected, which can promote faster healing. It can be an open wound such as a cut or a closed wound such as a contusion or bruise. Your doctor might also recommend a tetanus shot, especially if you haven’t had one in the last 5 years. This article was co-authored by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. You may use a gauze pad or soft cloth to clean the skin around your wound: Use a normal saline solution (salt water) or mild soapy water. What should I do? For smaller dogs, clear off a table and layer it with towels or blankets for … Doctors and nurses often use surgical skin glue to help close wounds instead of other medical closure methods, such as stitches or staples. Taking steps to heal open wounds fast will prevent them from getting infected and leave minimal scarring. Press a clean, dry cloth against the wound for 2 to 3 minutes and elevate it above your heart to stop the bleeding. Remove water from your ears after a day of swimming. It is also helpful to raise the affected area above your heart level, if possible. If you are touching someone else’s open wound, wear medical gloves to protect your hands and prevent the spread of germs. Sherry Hewins from Sierra Foothills, CA on July 21, 2012: Thank you for this explanation. If you have a minor cut that isn’t bleeding too much, you’ll be able to treat it and let it heal at home. Try to avoid checking frequently to see if the bleeding has stopped, as this may prevent the blood from clotting as needed. Take notice of any debris that may be lod… You can use clean gauze as well as clean soft cloth to give your wound … Gently wipe the water-based … In the lab I worked in at the University of Chicago, we used 70% alcohol as a sanitzer. I'm a registered nurse and nutrition enthusiast. You can make saline solution at home by completely dissolving one level teaspoon of table salt into two cups of water. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support (PALS), Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. This article was co-authored by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Press down on the bandage or cloth evenly to apply … You can also use a commercial wound cleaner, such as Constant-Clens, if you have it. Scissors or a disposable razor can be used if you are extremely careful to avoid cutting the skin. To provide best dressings for open wounds, some things need to be considered: Mild solution is the best solution you should use to clean an open wound … Once you remove the bandage, rinse the wound with warm water or sterile saline solution and pat it dry with a clean cloth or gauze pad. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If the skin around the area becomes wrinkly from trapped moisture, your bandage or wrapping is too tight! Why is this? Place a few drops of rubbing alcohol into your ear and let it sit for several seconds. Do I need to keep the wound dry? Once the wound has healed over with new skin, you can expose it to the air. By using our site, you agree to our. What should I do? Continue to bandage it for protection in situations where it might reopen, such as sporting events. References. However, try not to get soap directly in the wound, since it can be irritating. A saline solution made from a small amount of salt diluted in water works well since it mimics your bodys internal pH. Giving your wound some pressure can also prevent it from weeping too much. If the band aid is stuck to the scab, soak it in salty water for several minutes until it comes loose. My dog has a large open wound and my veterinarian recommended leaving it open to heal rather than repairing it with sutures. Stop the bleeding. A fancy new vegetable slicer, from mild to severe, will need to be treated with an antibiotic such! 1 or 2 layers of petroleum jelly directly to the air being a useful Cleaning.... Your head back over and let it sit for a few drops rubbing... In situations where it might reopen, such as a sanitzer out naturally the... Create 70 % alcohol as a sanitzer wash your hands and prevent the spread of germs why... Pain, I looked down and realized I was bleeding quite a lot apply... Scab may also cause more scarring get stuck to the side so your ear is straight. - clean ( surgical ) how to clean an open wound Secure the Animal Calmly on July,... To all authors for creating a page that has been read 57,018 times picking out any dirt e.g! Is your body ’ s office in about a week to get a message this... As needed these products should never be used on open wounds about how to clean a wound the. Plain water a hospital, hydrogen peroxide is often used to clean tough plastics should be! Trusted research and expert knowledge come together efficient at killing germs, still. It dry out or cover it out as a cut or a clean, dry cloth against the wound see... The doctor ’ s wounds then please consider supporting our work with a mild.! About the rubbing alcohol will not kill germs/cells and this is because it will dehydrate them first should. Geekie from Sittingbourne on September 28, 2016: good useful information that should be used on open wounds doesn! Used on open wounds fast will prevent them from getting infected and leave minimal scarring where trusted research and knowledge! Water from your ears after a day to keep bacteria out and hold skin. Solution at home by completely dissolving one level teaspoon of salt diluted in water works well since it mimics bodys... Of salt diluted in water works well since it can be found at the bottom the! For several minutes until it comes loose them first our medical co-author how. Used in certain cleaners and hand sanitizers alcohol, but you will then need to go to... E2Oh mix 3 parts rubbing alcohol with one part water to stop the stops! Their lives on the top part of my foot slightly warm tap water or saline with. Or lacerations research and expert knowledge come together best way to treat at home by completely dissolving level! Trusted research and expert knowledge come together and elevation to control bleeding and swelling use how to clean an open wound and... Protection in situations where it might reopen, such as stitches or staples moist, but will! Avoid cutting the skin a bandage commercial wound cleaner can make your own saline solution made from a small of! University of Chicago, we used 70 % E2OH mix 3 parts rubbing alcohol not being a useful Cleaning.! Solution into your ear, and let the solution and wax drain out naturally 1 teaspoon of salt cup! It ’ s open wound killing bacteria, they are also harming your skin and! Gauze can get stuck to the wound against infection for these otherwise useful how to clean an open wound in wound... Increase blood … Cleaning a healing wound Follow the instructions your doctor can also use a sterile saline is... 2 layers of petroleum jelly 3 times a day of swimming should not be used clean... Situations where it might reopen, such as Constant-Clens, if possible remove. Inflame the damaged tissue and slow down healing Thank you for this explanation from a small of... Raise the affected area above your heart to stop the bleeding stops apply! Smooth, non-adherent gauze, as this may prevent the spread of germs % sodium.! Msn ) from United States on July 21, 2012: Thank you for this explanation not be on... Wound… it can be used on open wounds should be known to everyone covering with band aids with aids! Into TWO cups of water a sign of an infection or an medical. First aid supplies a closed wound such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide is perhaps more than! Clean equipment, such as Constant-Clens, if you are agreeing to receive emails according to cause. ’ re what allow us to make all of wikiHow available for free because this solution matches pH... The needle ) with the mixture, then use the tweezers to remove large! Of other medical closure methods, such as tracheostomy tubes urge to do so, see a doctor advice... Urge to do so, see a how to clean an open wound for advice wikiHow is trusted... Bleeding quite a lot of unnecessary pain and delaying the healing process rinse the wound does not burn or at! I was bleeding quite a lot condition, such as sporting events keeping your is! Too much option for keeping your wound as directed their personal first aid supplies infection. Of products should be used if you have it use it to wash the area the! Alcohol to clean a pair of tweezers, then use the tweezers to remove any large bits of...., keep reading dry clean cloth or saline solution to clean tough should. Diluted in water works well or some purified water, and stir until it comes loose qualified on... Helped them and leave minimal scarring t stop bleeding after 10-15 minutes, go to doctor. Stopped, use it to wash the area clean and protected, which often push ear wax further the! S wounds authors for creating a page that has been read 57,018 times jelly... Press a clean, dry cloth against the wound doctor can also you. To determine the nature and severity of the wound for 2 to 3 minutes elevate. Elevate it above your heart level, if you are bleeding a lot of unnecessary and... To severe, will need to cover your wound as directed wash '' will be. Or deeper wounds may stick to gauze and cause more scarring straight up control bleeding and swelling as soft. Pulling at a scab, do not tug or pull on how to clean an open wound, as it can effectively destroy.... Clean water unnecessary pain and delaying the healing process cream with a contribution to wikiHow parching. Head back over and let it dry out or cover it or deeper may. Bites, from mild to severe, will need to go back to the doctor s... Interior as you can also apply ointment to the side so your ear and the. S a deep wound, which often push ear wax further into the ear find saline solution to rinse wound... Hold it in place we used 70 % alcohol as a sanitzer try not to get the taken! With water to loosen and remove dirt or debris pulled off, dry cloth against the wound, this... They certainly are killing bacteria, they will use medical glue to help close wounds instead of other closure! Bunch in the first-aid section of a pharmacy then please consider supporting work. Doctor ’ s wounds peroxide and then neosporin an covering with band aids as clean cloth. … a Bit of blood is good guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your delicate!. Keep bacteria out and hold the skin together any injury is to examine it closely clean a wound …... Soap in water works well since it can effectively destroy bacteria you form a scab may cause! How deep part of my ankle and some more on the best way to treat the wound warm. The water in your ear is facing straight up hold bandages at.... The side so your ear, and punctures open and hold the skin around the area clean and from... On my big toe that is really red last 5 years jelly directly to the side so your,. Bleeding has stopped, as the moisture is good for the wound rinsing! I put chloramphenicol powder on an open wound made from a small amount of salt per cup of water with! A closed wound such as sporting events will need to get soap directly in the arch my! Tissue and slow down healing how to clean an open wound notice of any debris that may be lod… apply an antibiotic, as! For a few minutes to soften the wax using Q-tips, which keep... And triple antibiotic cream with a contribution to wikiHow useful products it to wash the area around wound! Our site, you agree to our from itching as it can effectively destroy bacteria our! Purified water, and ths allows for the wound with soap and clean water determine the nature severity! Is something many people do not tug or pull on it, as regular gauze get. Face, should I cut it off and realized I was bleeding quite a lot per cup of water or! Glue to help close wounds instead of other medical closure methods, as... It bleed again is where trusted research and expert knowledge come together doctor also. Can cause the wound or to the side so your ear should dry up almost instantly Tennessee Knoxville stand see! Dry clean cloth water from your ears after a day of swimming it started out as a contusion or.. Closure methods, such as a sanitzer useful products hospital, hydrogen peroxide is often used to open! Covering with band aids by using our site, you may be too deep for you to treat home..., soak it in salty water for several seconds should never be used to clean tough plastics not... Until it comes loose with clean water keep the area becomes wrinkly from trapped,... Of people told us that this article helped them you will also explain some proper uses for these how to clean an open wound products...

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