Most cuts heal well and
may not need a bandage. You may need to protect the cut from dirt and
irritation. Be sure to clean the cut thoroughly before bandaging it to
reduce the risk of infection occurring under the bandage.
Select the bandage carefully. There are many
products available. Liquid skin bandages and moisture-enhancing bandages are
available with other first aid products. Before you buy or use one, be sure to
read the label carefully, and follow the label's instructions when you apply
If you use a cloth-like bandage, apply a clean bandage
when it gets wet or soiled to further help prevent infection. If a bandage is
stuck to a scab, soak it in warm water to soften the scab and make the bandage
easier to remove. If available, use a nonstick dressing. There are many bandage
products available. Be sure to read the product label for correct
signs of infection. If you have an infection under a
bandage, a visit to your doctor may be needed.
ointment, such as polymyxin B sulfate (for example, Polysporin) or bacitracin,
will keep the bandage from sticking to the wound. Apply the ointment lightly to
the wound. Antibiotic ointments have not been shown to improve healing. Be sure
to read the product label about skin sensitivity. If you have a skin rash or
itching under the bandage, stop using the ointment. The rash may be caused by
an allergic reaction to the ointment.
Use an adhesive strip to
hold the edges of a wound together. Always put an adhesive strip across a wound
to hold the edges together, not lengthwise. You can
make a butterfly bandage at home or purchase one to help hold the skin edges
You may have a localized
reaction to a tetanus shot. Symptoms include warmth, swelling, and redness at
the injection site. A fever of up to
100°F (37.8°C) may occur. Home
treatment can help reduce the discomfort.
An ice or cold pack may help reduce swelling and bruising. Never apply ice
directly to a wound or the skin. This could cause tissue damage.
Elevate the injured area on pillows while applying ice and anytime you
are sitting or lying down. Try to keep the area at or above the level of your
heart to reduce swelling.
Medicine you can buy without a prescription
Try a nonprescription
medicine to help treat your fever or pain:
Aspirin (also a nonsteroidal
anti-inflammatory drug), such as Bayer or Bufferin
Talk to your child's doctor before switching back and
forth between doses of acetaminophen and ibuprofen. When you switch between two
medicines, there is a chance your child will get too much medicine.
Be sure to follow
these safety tips when you use a nonprescription medicine:
Carefully read and follow all
directions on the medicine bottle and box.