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When should you call the doctor about minor cuts or scrapes?

ANSWER

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.

SOURCES:

FamilyDoctor.org: "First Aid: Cuts, Scrapes, and Stitches."

Merck Manual Home Edition: "Wounds."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 16, 2019

SOURCES:

FamilyDoctor.org: "First Aid: Cuts, Scrapes, and Stitches."

Merck Manual Home Edition: "Wounds."

Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson on August 16, 2019

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

    This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.