How to Treat a Skin Wound
As you go about your daily life, you must continually navigate small hazards that can lead to minor skin wounds. All it takes is a tiny slip of the kitchen knife you use to slice bread for your sandwich, or a slight misstep that results in a fall on a concrete sidewalk, and you’ve got a cut finger or a scraped knee.
When this happens, you should seek medical attention immediately if the wound is:
- Bleeding heavily
- Deep (a depth of one-quarter inch or more may require stitches)
- Jagged or gaping open
- Embedded with a foreign object
- On your face
- From an animal or human bite
- Causing numbness in the surrounding area
Otherwise, you can take the following steps to treat a minor skin wound:
- Clean the cut – Use cool water and soap to gently remove any dirt and debris.
- Stop the bleeding – A small amount of blood can help clean the wound, but if the bleeding doesn’t stop on its own, use a clean cloth to apply firm, direct pressure.
- Apply antibiotic ointment – Once the bleeding has stopped, apply a thin layer of antibiotic ointment to keep the wound clean and moist and help prevent infection and scarring.
- Cover the wound – Protect the cut with a sterile bandage or gauze and tape, then change the dressing daily until a protective scab forms.
- Watch for signs of infection – See a doctor if you have pain, redness, swelling, or warmth in the area around the wound.
If you have questions about caring for a skin wound or would like to see a doctor for prompt treatment, please contact or visit South Tampa Immediate Care. Our walk-in clinic is conveniently located on South Howard Avenue in Tampa, FL, and no appointments are necessary.