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Change the dressing or bandage every day or more often if it gets dirty.

Antibiotic ointment can make infection less likely. Using a thin layer of antibiotic ointment before applying the bandage or gauze dressing will help keep cuts and scrapes clean and moist, and help curb scarring.

Watch for Signs of Infection

If the wound isn’t healing or you notice any of these signs of infection, call your doctor right away:

  • Redness, swelling, and warmth
  • Increasing pain
  • Pus or drainage from the cut
  • Temperature over 100 F
  • Red streaks around the wound

When the Wound Starts to Heal

Small cuts and scrapes will form a scab and heal within a few days. The scab helps protect the wound from dirt and germs while new skin grows underneath. Once a scab has formed, you may not need to use a bandage anymore.

Although a healing wound or scab will itch, it's best not to scratch or pick at scabs. The scab will fall off on its own without your help, revealing the new skin underneath.

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