Skip to content

    Allergies Health Center

    Font Size
    A
    A
    A

    How to Treat Minor Cuts and Scrapes

    The small hazards that can lead to minor cuts and scrapes are a part of everyday life. All it takes is one slip of focus while slicing bread and you've cut your finger. Or you trip on a curb and skin your knee.

    Get immediate medical attention for a wound that is deep, bleeds heavily, or has something embedded in it. If it's a minor cut or scrape, here's what to do:

    Recommended Related to Allergies

    15 Tips to Help Prevent Allergy Symptoms in Kids

    Before you start any treatment, visit a doctor to be sure allergies are causing your child’s troubles. Once you know he really has seasonal allergies, these quick tips can offer much-needed relief. Stay Inside. The best way to treat allergy symptoms is to avoid allergens to begin with. So when pollen counts soar, keep kids indoors as much as possible. Pollen is usually at its peak mid-morning, early evening, and when the wind is blowing. Use Saltwater. Having a plugged-up nose...

    Read the 15 Tips to Help Prevent Allergy Symptoms in Kids article > >

    Clean the Cut

    First wash your hands with soap and water.

    Then rinse the cut or scrape with cool water to remove dirt and debris. Hold the area under running water or pour clean water over it from a cup. Use soap to clean the wound.

    You don't need to use stronger cleaning solutions -- such as hydrogen peroxide, iodine, or rubbing alcohol -- to treat minor cuts and scrapes, as they may irritate the wound. Cool clean water should be fine for cleaning the wound.

    Stop the Bleeding

    A small amount of blood can help clean out the wound. Smaller cuts and abrasions usually stop bleeding on their own. A cut to the head or hand may bleed more because those areas have a lot of blood vessels.

    To stop the bleeding, gently apply firm, direct pressure using a clean cloth or gauze. Continue to hold the pressure steadily.

    Don’t raise the cloth or gauze to check on the wound, because that could cause the wound to start bleeding again. If blood seeps through the dressing, just put more on top and keep applying pressure.

    If the cut is on your hand or arm, you can help slow the bleeding by raising it above your head.

    If the cut spurts blood or if it doesn’t stop bleeding, get medical help right away.

    When to Call the Doctor

    Most minor cuts and abrasions don’t need a doctor's care. But call your doctor if:

    • The wound is on your face.
    • The edges of the cut are jagged or gape open, the cut is deep (1/4 inch or more), or you can see fat or muscle. These are signs that you may need stitches.
    • You can't get all of the dirt or debris out of the wound, or the wound was caused by something very dirty or rusty.
    • You have a puncture wound or a cut and haven't had a tetanus shot in the past 5 years.
    • The wound is from an animal or human bite.
    • The injured area feels numb.

    Today on WebMD

    man blowing nose
    Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
    Allergy capsule
    Breathe easier with these products.
     
    cat on couch
    Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
    Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
    Which ones affect you?
     

    blowing nose
    Article
    woman with sore throat
    Article
     
    lone star tick
    Slideshow
    Woman blowing nose
    Slideshow
     

    Send yourself a link to download the app.

    Loading ...

    Please wait...

    This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

    Thanks!

    Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

    cat lying on shelf
    Article
    Allergy prick test
    VIDEO
     
    Man sneezing into tissue
    Assessment
    Woman holding feather duster up to face, twitching
    Quiz