How to treat deep cuts

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Dr. Mary Williams, R.N., D.C is a Doctor of Chiropractic with an extensive background as a Registered Nurse and experienced Core Instructor for the American Heart Association. She has over 30 years of hands-on medical and instructional experience.

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How to treat deep cuts

First Aid Basics: First Aid for Cuts

At some point in most people’s lives, they’ve experienced a minor or even a serious cut. In addition, many have also helped tend to someone who has received some type of cut. A cut can be as minor as a small paper cut or something major like a laceration that runs deep through skin and muscle. Both are generally painful, and both require some degree of first aid. Cuts that are minor often represent little danger if proper aid is given; deeper cuts, however, can result in more serious concerns and require more care and attention. To properly administer first aid for cuts, whether as a parent or a professional, one should have some form of training. At CPR Certified, we offer online courses including basic first aid. Because our classes are taken online, they are suitable for anyone, including busy students, at-home parents, and professionals.

Often, the type of cut that most people encounter will be a minor one. These cuts may or may not bleed but aren’t deep enough to cause any real concern. When you are administering first aid for cuts that are minor, you’ll want to stop any bleeding and clean the cut thoroughly. Before handling any cut, whether it is minor or major, you will want to put on a pair of gloves for safety. The person should wash their hands and the area of the cut with clean water and an antibacterial or mild soap. Attention should be paid to the area with the cut specifically, even if it appears to be clean, as not all harmful bacteria are visible to the naked eye. The cut may be bandaged following the application of an antibacterial ointment and a sterile bandage. In some cases, additional care may be needed even if the wounds are minor cuts. First aid is not enough if the individual is unable to feel the injury or the area around it or if the bleeding continues for more than ten minutes. Immediate medical care is needed if the cut was caused by a rusty object. If you’ve administered first aid to a your child, a friend, or a loved one and notice signs of infection after a day or more, a trip to the emergency room or a call to a doctor may be necessary.

Act Quickly

When administering deep cut first aid, it is crucial that you stop the bleeding as quickly as possible. Using a clean piece of gauze or a clean cloth, apply pressure to the cut. First aid for this type of cut is administered with the purposes of first attempting to stop the loss of blood and reducing the risk of infection if possible. Applying pressure directly on the bleeding cut will help to stop the bleeding. Some cuts may bleed profusely, and more clean cloth may be required. Apply cloth as needed, but do not remove the soaked cloth or let up on the pressure for five full minutes. After this time, check to see if the bleeding has ended. Bleeding from a cut on an arm or leg may be slowed by also raising the victim’s limb so that it is above the heart. After the bleeding has stopped, clean around the wounded area with a clean cloth and clean water if it is possible. Beyond first aid, deep and/or jagged cuts, cuts that do not stop bleeding, and cuts caused by objects such as a nail should be seen by a physician for further medical treatment.

Protect your family and impress your employers when you learn basic first aid from CPR Certified. When you learn basic first aid, cuts and other injuries suffered by those around you can receive aid quickly, greatly reducing the risk of further pain and suffering in some cases. In addition to basic first aid, you can also take our CPR certification course; if you are already certified, know that we also offer recertification. Our classes are taught and developed by AHA-certified instructors so that you know you are getting the best training possible. Contact us today for further information about our courses or to learn more about first aid training and how we can teach you to administer aid for cuts and more.

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How to treat deep cuts

Use firm hand pressure and gauze (or your cleanest T-shirt) to stanch the flow. If possible, lift the wound above heart level and hold pressure steady for at least 10 minutes. If surface pressure won’t stop the bleed, you may have to insert your fingers into the wound to put direct pressure on the vein or artery.

Last resort Only consider a tourniquet if you’re prepared to trade the gushing limb to save the victim’s life. Learn more about tourniquets at

Pro gear A couple of 2-inch and 4-inch ABD (army battle dressing) pads ($1 at pharmacies) are all you need, says Tod Schimelpfenig, Curriculum Director at NOLS Wilderness Medicine Institute. “If they’re not enough, use extra clothes.”

A dirty wound is the perfect place for a bacteria-laden infection. Prevent it: Once bleeding stops, lift the dressing and direct potable water into the wound at a perpendicular angle from 1 to 2 inches away. Use at least 8 ounces of water, or as much as needed to flush dirt and debris from inside the wound.

Last resort Absolutely no treated water available? In a group: While one person stops the bleed, have another boil water to use for washing out the wound. Alone: Make a judgment call on cleanish sources of water like creeks or springs.

Pro gear Pack latex gloves on every trip (in a zip-top bag). Also add a plastic syringe—the wound-spraying tool of choice for EMTs—to your first-aid kit. (Improvise with your hydration-bladder hose.)

Got a gaper? Leave suturing to the pros, but use ¼- to ½-inch-wide strips of medical or duct tape to close a cut (see below). Know when to leave wounds open: Animal bites, crushing injuries, and punctures are all at high risk for infection. Pack with moist gauze and dress as best you can, but don’t close them.

Last resort Superglue is FDA-approved for skin, but save it for very neat, clean cuts (like a knife slip), because you risk sealing bacteria inside. Better? Dermabond ($29; .5 ml vial; is easier to remove for follow-up care.

Pro gear Keep tape and even moleskin in place by first applying Mastisol Liquid Adhesive, a medical glue that makes skin super sticky ($3; .6 ml vial;

Irrigate, then dress with a moistened pad (use antibiotic ointment if you have it), followed by a dry one. Far from help? Change a wound’s dressing every 12 hours, being careful not to restart bleeding when you remove padding. Monitor closely for infection. If the wound starts to swell, ooze, stink, or turn red, reopen the dressing, clean the wound, and leave it open. See signs of infection? Get to a hospital asap; deadly sepsis can set in within six hours.

Last resort Only have dirty clothes? Boil them. If you don’t have a multiday supply of gauze, you can boil, dry, then reuse it.

Pro gear Stuff a few antibiotics in your first-aid kit. (Ask your family doc about a prescription for ciprofloxacin or azithromycin.) They’ll slow the onset of most infections.
Prevent Shock Maintain blood flow to a victim’s brain.
After you’ve stopped a bleed, expect and preempt shock. Symptoms include a weakening, rapid pulse; gray, cool, or clammy skin; nausea; and shallow breathing. Lay your victim down, elevate his feet 6 to 10 inches, and keep him warm and hydrated. Prepare to turn him on his side in order to prevent choking if he vomits.

Key Skill Close a Wound
After bleeding stops and the cut is cleaned, trim ¼- to ½-inch-wide strips of duct or medical tape long enough so they will extend at least 1 inch beyond each side of the gash. A. Starting in the middle of the wound, apply strips of tape in pairs: First, attach the end of each strip to opposite sides of the cut. Then, gently pull the strips to close the wound, and adhere the loose ends to the cut’s far side. B. Continue placing pairs of tape strips above and below the center closure (allowing 1/8 inch between strips of tape) until the wound is fully closed. Dress the cut to keep dirt out, and check it regularly for signs of infection.

Steps for Proper Treatment of Cuts

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Rod Brouhard is an emergency medical technician paramedic (EMT-P), journalist, educator, and advocate for emergency medical service providers and patients.

Michael Menna, DO, is a board-certified, active attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.

A laceration is an irregular cut in the skin caused by a sharp object. Treatment for a laceration typically depends on just how deep the cut is.

Lacerations remain the most common cause of emergency room visits in the United States, with between 7 million and 9 million cases reported annually.   Treating lacerations appropriately not only reduces the risk of infection, scarring, and hospitalization but can also sometimes save a life.

How to treat deep cuts

Steps to Treating a Laceration

Some lacerations can be easily treated with a home first aid kit. Others require emergency medical care, particularly if the wound is deep and the bleeding cannot be stopped.

Whatever the circumstances, there are several general guidelines you should follow if someone experiences a laceration:

  1. Stay safe. If you are not the injured party, practice universal precautions and wear personal protective equipment if available. Lacerations often involve a lot of blood, and you should avoid getting anyone’s blood on you if at all possible.
  2. Control the bleeding. Preventing blood loss is the central task when faced with a laceration injury. Apply pressure directly to the wound while elevating the wound to the level of the heart for around 15 minutes. This should be enough to stop bleeding. If not, try applying pressure to key pressure points (such as the groin or crook of the elbow). Tourniquets should be avoided unless medical care will be delayed for several hours. Tourniquets are typically viewed as a last resort.
  3. Know when to call 911. If you have tried all of these options but the bleeding still will not stop, call 911. Excess blood loss is a serious concern with lacerations. With severe lacerations of a major artery, people have been known to bleed out in as quickly as five minutes.  
  4. Clean the wound. Once the bleeding has stopped, wash the laceration and surrounding skin with warm water and mild soap. If there is a deep laceration, bleeding may start again if you are not gentle. If this occurs, re-apply pressure and call for help if bleeding continues.
  5. Get stitches if needed. When you are certain that the bleeding has completely stopped, check whether the laceration needs stitches. A wound deeper or longer than a half-inch or deep enough to expose bone, muscle, or fatty tissue generally requires stitches.   While a larger laceration will still eventually heal on its own without stitches, stitching promotes faster healing, keepss bacteria out of the wound (reducing the risk of infection), and help prevent scarring.
  6. Apply an antiseptic. For smaller lacerations that do not require stitches, use an antiseptic ointment and an adhesive bandage (such as a butterfly closure bandage). This will help to keep the wound clean and help prevent infection and scarring.
  7. Dress the wound. Once the antiseptic ointment and bandage have been applied, cover the wound with sterile gauze, either taping it into place or wrapping it with elastic bandage.
  8. Check for infection. Watch for infection, checking the dressing daily for signs of oozing or excessive bleeding. Clean the laceration each time you change the dressing. If the laceration begins to swell or drain pus, call a doctor.
  9. Control the pain. Lacerations can be extremely painful. If occasional ice application doesn’t help, try using Tylenol (acetaminophen) or Advil (ibuprofen) for temporary pain relief. Elevating the wound also helps.  

When to Call a Doctor

Seek immediate medical attention, day or night, if you have any signs of an infection, including:

  • Swelling, pain, or redness around the wound
  • Red streaks visible near the injury, pointing toward the heart
  • Pus discharging from the wound or visible in it
  • Numbness in the area around the injury
  • A temperature over 100.4 F  

A Word From Verywell

If the laceration is contaminated, the injured party should get a tetanus vaccination or booster shot as soon as possible. Wounds of the feet, those that cannot be cleaned right away, and wounds made by animals have a high risk of contamination.  

Similarly, lacerations caused by animal bites may also cause rabies. Always consult a doctor for wounds caused by animal bites.  

Dr Jan Sambrook, Reviewed by Dr Adrian Bonsall | Last edited 2 Nov 2016 | Meets Patient’s editorial guidelines

This leaflet gives a guide as to what you should do following a cut.

In this article
  • First aid
  • Do I need medical attention?
  • After dealing with a cut

First aid

Press firmly on the wound to stop the bleeding.

Obtain medical attention if the bleeding is heavy or does not stop soon. See separate leaflet called Dealing with Bleeding.

Clean the wound no matter how small it is. Cleaning will reduce the chance of infection. Just use ordinary tap water. Some antiseptics may damage skin tissue and delay healing.

After cleaning, cover the wound with a sterile, non-sticky dressing.

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Do I need medical attention?

Many people deal with minor cuts by themselves. The following gives a guide as to when to consider getting medical help.

  • Ideally, a doctor or nurse should clean wounds that are large, deep or dirty, and abrasions caused by gravel. There is a risk of infection and also a risk of permanent tattooing of the skin from gravel or dirt which remains in a wound.
  • Wounds longer than 5 cm or which involve deeper tissues than the skin may need stitches.
  • If part of the wound has dead or damaged skin then this may need to be trimmed or removed to prevent infection developing in it.
  • If you suspect the cut has damaged deeper tissues such as nerves, tendons, or joints.
  • Wounds caused by penetrating glass, metal, etc, may need to be carefully examined and may need an X-ray to check that there is nothing left inside.
  • Gaping wounds should be closed with stitches, glue, or sticky tape. Even small gaping wounds on the face are best dealt with by a doctor to keep scarring to a minimum. Most wounds are closed straightaway. However, a doctor may advise waiting for a few days before closing certain wounds. For example, if the wound is more than six hours old, if it is infected, or if it is at high risk of becoming infected, such as a wound contaminated with manure. This delayed closure aims to make sure the wound is not infected before closing it up.
  • You should have a tetanus booster if you are not up to date with your immunisations.
  • Antibiotic medicines are not needed in most cases. However, a course of antibiotics may be advised in some situations where there is a high risk of a wound infection developing. These include:
    • Wounds to the feet (especially if you have poor circulation to the feet).
    • Wounds with jagged edges.
    • Wounds contaminated with soil, manure or stools (faeces).
    • Deep puncture wounds.
    • Wounds in older people.
    • If your resistance to infection is low. Examples include:
      • If you are on chemotherapy or taking steroid tablets.
      • If you have no working spleen.
      • If you have diabetes.
      • If you have alcohol dependence.
      • If you have AIDS.

Note: for information on bites, see separate leaflets called Dog and Cat Bites and Human Bites.

After dealing with a cut

The most common complication is an infection of the wound. See a doctor if the skin surrounding a wound becomes more tender, painful, swollen, red or inflamed over the following few days.

In some cases, as the wound heals, the colour in the skin darkens around the scar. This change in skin colour is called hyperpigmentation. This may be prevented if you use high-factor sunscreen regularly for 6-12 months on healing wounds that are exposed to sunshine.

Further reading and references

Lacerations ; NICE CKS, July 2015 (UK access only)

How to treat deep cuts

A cut finger is a common injury. People may sustain these injuries during falls or if they accidentally slip with a knife or other sharp object.

A cut finger injury can range from mild to severe. Most minor cuts heal after first aid at home. However, deep cuts may require emergency treatment, such as stitches or surgery.

This article outlines when to seek emergency help for a cut finger and how to treat minor cuts at home. We also outline some of the medical treatments for deeper cuts and provide tips on aftercare and recovery.

How to treat deep cuts

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A person will need emergency treatment for deep cuts that require stitches, or for a fingertip that is partially or fully severed.

People should also seek immediate medical attention for the following:

  • a wound more than three-quarters of an inch in length
  • a wound more than a quarter of an inch deep
  • an injury that exposes the bone
  • bleeding that does not stop, even after compressing and elevating the injured finger
  • a wound that affects the nerves, joints, or tendons
  • a suspected broken bone
  • if dirt or foreign objects are embedded into the wound

A person should also seek emergency medical attention if they sustain an open injury, and they are not up-to-date with their tetanus shots or boosters.

When a person cuts their finger, they should try to stop the bleeding and assess the severity of the injury.

First aid for a cut finger injury involves:

  • cleaning the affected area quickly with soap and water
  • applying petroleum jelly to moisten the wound and help promote healing
  • covering the finger with a bandage or dressing to slow bleeding and prevent infection
  • elevating the hand to reduce inflammation and swelling
  • taking over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers to help reduce swelling and alleviate pain

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, the majority of minor cuts heal within a week.

If a person completely severs their fingertip or finger, they should follow these steps:

  1. cleaning the severed portion of the finger with water
  2. covering the severed part in moistened gauze
  3. placing this inside a sealable plastic bag, then putting the bag inside a watertight container filled with ice
  4. taking this to the emergency room along with the injured person

If a cut finger is large and deep, a doctor will need to look at the injury. Before examining the finger, they may offer a numbing injection to help alleviate any pain.

They will then clean the wound, removing dead tissue and contaminants, a process known as debridement.

In some cases, a doctor may recommend leaving the wound open to heal on its own. Otherwise, they may recommend stitches or surgery.

Surgery may be necessary for deep and wide cuts, or for injuries that expose the bone.

There are two main surgical procedures for deep cuts on the finger:

  • Skin graft: A surgeon uses healthy skin from elsewhere on the body to cover the injured area. They will then use stitches to secure the skin graft.
  • Reconstructive surgery (RS): This surgery may be necessary for severe injuries that affect both the skin and its underlying soft tissues. During RS, a surgeon removes a flap of skin, fat, and blood vessels from elsewhere on the hand and uses it to cover the open wound.

If the finger is severed, a surgeon may perform a replantation procedure to reattach it. This is a complicated procedure with a lengthy recovery period.

A person may also receive a tetanus booster shot if they are not up-to-date with their tetanus vaccinations.

Most minor finger cuts heal within 2–4 weeks. Deeper cuts or those requiring medical attention or surgery will take longer to heal.

During the recovery process, people should be aware of signs that the wound is not healing correctly. They should see their doctor if they experience:

  • symptoms of an infection, such as:
    • redness
    • swelling
    • pain or tenderness
    • pus
    • a bad odor
  • slow healing
  • numbness
  • nerve pain

People should change their wound bandages daily until the cut heals. However, they should take care, as exposing the cut to the open environment may cause an infection.

Full recovery from a finger replantation can take months or even years. During the recovery period, people can aid the healing process by:

  • practicing physical therapy to prevent stiffness of the joints and minimize the formation of scar tissue
  • avoiding holding the hand below the heart level for extended periods of time, as this can affect circulation to the replanted finger
  • quitting smoking to improve circulation to the replanted finger
  • wearing a brace to support the finger during certain activities or hobbies

Physical therapy is also important for people who experience a complete finger amputation. In these cases, doctors may suggest they wear a finger prosthesis to help them carry out day-to-day tasks.

A wound is an injury that cuts or breaks the skin. Although most wounds heal naturally with time, there are some ways to speed up the healing process.

A wound leaves the body’s internal tissues exposed to the external environment. Cuts, blows, or other impacts are common causes.

A person may be able to treat a minor wound at home. However, they should seek medical help if they have a more severe injury that involves broken bones or excessive bleeding.

Keep reading for more information on six things people can try to make their wounds heal faster, and when to see a doctor.

Please note, the methods outlined in this article are for cuts and scrapes that people can typically take care of at home. More serious, or deep wounds, will require medical attention.

How to treat deep cuts

Share on Pinterest Image credit: Jung-Pang Wu / Getty Images.

A person with an open wound should always follow these steps :

  1. wash the hands with soap and clean water
  2. remove jewelry and clothing from around the wound
  3. apply pressure to the wound to stop the bleeding
  4. clean the wound with clean water and a saline solution once the bleeding has stopped
  5. examine the wound for foreign objects and dirt
  6. if possible, apply antibiotic ointment to the wound to prevent infection
  7. pat the wound dry with a clean cloth
  8. close the wound and apply an adhesive bandage or band-aid

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , a person should check their wound every 24 hours. This involves removing the bandages and checking for signs of infection. Afterward, they should disinfect the wound, dry it, and apply a clean adhesive bandage or band-aid.

A closed wound that is not sterile can trap bacteria and may cause further infections. Therefore, if a person has an unclean wound or a wound with an infection, they should leave it open until they can clean it, or the infection clears.

After treating a wound, several methods can promote healing.

The following are some alternative methods and remedies people can try to make wounds heal faster:

1. Antibacterial ointment

A person can treat a wound with several over-the-counter (OTC) antibacterial ointments, which can help prevent infections. They can also help a wound heal more quickly.

One review of 27 animal model studies showed that antibacterial treatments played a positive role in helping wounds heal faster. However, the review noted that there was a high risk of bias in the findings.

People often use OTC antibacterial ointments for minor wounds, but they may not be necessary. A person may use petroleum jelly, which acts as a barrier to protect the wound beyond a waterproof bandage.

2. Aloe vera

Aloe vera is a plant belonging to the cactus family. It contains a substance that is rich in both vitamins and minerals.

Aloe vera contains glucomannan, a substance that helps cellular regeneration and causes the body to produce collagen. This substance is a protein that promotes wound healing.

A 2019 systematic review states that aloe vera and its compounds could improve wound healing. Overall evidence suggests it might be effective for wound healing of first and second degree burns. The review also indicates that aloe vera could help retain skin moisture and integrity while easing inflammation and preventing ulcers.

A person can apply a thin layer of aloe vera gel to the wound area. They can also dress the wound in a bandage soaked in aloe vera gel to help with healing.

3. Honey

Honey has antioxidant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties . People have used the substance in traditional wound healing recipes for a long time.

A 2016 review states that laboratory research suggests honey significantly improves the healing rate of wounds in animals. It also says that it reduced scar formation and inhibited bacterial growth in acute wounds and burns.

In another study , honey appeared to heal partial thickness wounds better than other treatments, but caused more infections in post-operative wounds than typical treatments.

A person would need to use medical honey for minor and major wounds after discussion with a doctor or healthcare provider.

4. Turmeric paste

Turmeric is a spice that comes from the plant of the same name. It contains curcumin, which has antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties.

One 2016 review suggests that turmeric can be effective in helping wounds heal faster. It showed that the curcumin present in the spice stimulated the production of the growth factors involved in the healing process. It also showed that curcumin accelerated the management of wound restoration.

A 2019 review also showed that curcumin in turmeric could increase collagen production at the wound site. It also states that curcumin promoted the differentiation of fibroblasts into myofibroblasts, which starts the healing process and helps the wound heal more quickly.

A person can mix turmeric with warm water to make a paste. They can then apply the paste to the wound and cover it with a clean bandage.

If a person wishes to try turmeric for a wound, they should limit usage to closed, minor wounds. An open injury would require medical-grade products with a doctor’s approval.

5. Garlic

Garlic contains the compound allicin, which has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.

According to a 2020 review , several clinical trials have demonstrated the efficacy of garlic in treating wounds. It stated that in preclinical studies, aged garlic extract showed wound healing potential depending on the dosage.

A 2018 study looked at the use of garlic to treat wounds on rats. It revealed that an ointment containing 30% garlic promoted more proliferating fibroblasts when compared with petroleum jelly. Fibroblasts are an integral part of tissue repair, therefore, the use of garlic had a positive effect and helped the wound heal faster.

6. Coconut oil

Coconut oil contains the substance monolaurin, a fatty acid with antimicrobial properties. Fatty acids found in vegetable oils are assumed to play a large part in helping wounds heal. A person can use coconut oil on a wound to help reduce the risk of contracting an infection.

According to a 2010 study , virgin coconut oil can help wounds on rats heal quicker than those without the oil. A person can use the substance on a wound as a barrier to help reduce the risk of acquiring an infection.

Rod Brouhard is an emergency medical technician paramedic (EMT-P), journalist, educator, and advocate for emergency medical service providers and patients.

Michael Menna, DO, is a board-certified, active attending emergency medicine physician at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.

Getting a cut in the kitchen is both the worst and best place to break the skin. Worst because the uncooked food is nearly always covered in bacteria. Best because soap and water are nearby.

If you cut yourself during food preparation, infection is your worst enemy. Luckily, soap and water are all you need to clean a wound, even a wound covered in bacteria.

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Verywell / Hugo Lin

Is It an Emergency?

Whether it’s an emergency or not depends on how long, how deep and where the cut is. First, let me say that finger cuts are almost never life-threatening.

When talking about emergencies at the finger level, we are more worried about the loss of function or the loss of an entire finger. Larger cuts—across the palm, for example, or cutting off (amputating) multiple fingers—do have the potential of being deadly.

If the bleeding is severe (not just oozing) or blood is squirting, then immediately take steps to control bleeding and call 911. Also, if you’ve amputated any part of a finger, call 911. Both of those are considered real emergencies.

You most likely are not going to die from a finger laceration, but time is essential for the survival of the finger.

If It Is Not an Emergency

If the blood is oozing from the cut, then follow these steps:

  1. Wash with soap and water. There are all kinds of disinfectant products out there, but nothing works better than plain old soap and warm water.
  2. Encourage the blood to ooze out of the cut for a few minutes. As long as the blood isn’t pouring out like a garden hose (see the part about emergencies above), then you should squeeze out a little extra. Blood oozing from the inside to the outside helps to flush out any bacteria that can cause infection. Squeeze out the blood under running water over the sink.
  3. Control bleeding. Be sure to wash it first! You don’t want to wash the site after you stop bleeding because that will wash away the scab and start the bleeding over again. Plus, if you’re going to squeeze out a few extra drops, you’ll need to be done with that before you make it stop.
  4. If the person with the cut feels weak or dizzy, call 911 and treat for shock. It’s always better to be safe rather than sorry, but it’s still probably not life-threatening. Some folks will pass out simply from the pain or the sight of blood. And before they pass out, they feel weak or dizzy. Have them lie down before they fall down.

After the Bleeding Stops

Once the bleeding has stopped and the wound is clean, you can dress it with an adhesive bandage. After you but a bandage over it, put a glove on that hand if you still have food prep to do. Use an exam glove or a plastic serving glove.

Don’t put any antibiotic ointments or creams (such as Neosporin) on the cut until you are done in the kitchen.

If the cut is a centimeter or longer and you can see tissue below the skin, it may need stitches.   One way to test it is to pull the edges apart. If you can, then the cut is probably worthy of a trip to the emergency room or urgent care center.

A proper treatment is the key to perfectly healed wounds. Causes, location, severity, and treatments of the wounds are some of the factors which contribute on how well the wound heals. Small wounds such as narrow cuts and scrapes are likely possible to heal themselves without any specific treatments. However, immediate proper treatments are required by those deeper and more severe wounds to promote proper healing process.

The relationship between wound treatment and its healing process is crucial. Proper wound treatments are needed to boost healing period. A wound—minor and major, which is treated immediately will likely be prevented from infection. A proper wound healing will put wound causes and severity into account. This will promote white blood cells to produce proper antibody in combating any interfering bacteria. Proper wound healing treatment also includes avoiding scabs picking, which in fact is really tempting. Scabs which are formed during wound healing process has a role in covering fragile new skin before the wound is completely healed. Picking the scabs will tear the fragile skin and restart the healing process from the beginning. A wound which is properly treated by considering its cause and location also produces less visible scars.

Healing a deep wound

As stated, wound healing is closely related to its severity. A deep wound tends to heal slower, since some membranes and skin glands can possibly be damaged in the injury. A severe deep wound may even break skin inner membranes and hurt muscles and tendons, even bones. Therefore, with certain cases of deep wounds, medications and sutures might be required. Medications, such as tetanus shot, antibiotics, and anti-inflammations are needed to decrease the risk of infection. Pains from injuries commonly cause blood vessels to constrict, which slow down healing process. Those medications are used to relieve these pains, which may contribute to a faster healing. In addition, sutures are recommended for large wounds to induce faster and proper healing. Large puncture or cut wounds are prone to bacterial infection, since those wounds won’t close immediately like small wounds do. Therefore, closing these wounds with staples or stitches are recommended in performing more sterilized wound treatment.

Will a deep wound heal without stitches?

Most forms of wounds—cuts, scrapes, lacerations, or punctures are able to heal without stitches. However, stitches might be important for some specific cases. A deep wound might need sutures when the bleeding continues and is not likely to stop. Deep wounds have a chance of damaging skin inner layers and break the muscles and tendons, so that it is more susceptible to infections. Hence, an immediate suture is recommended as the first stage of its healing steps. However, a deep wound which has been left unstitched for more than eight hours is not advised to be closed with stitches, as it may trapped the possible infection inside. Otherwise, a proper, sterilized treatment can be performed. In fact, a deep wound might heal without stitches under these circumstances:

  1. The wound is not bleeding severely or the bleeding stops after the wound is given sufficient pressure.
  2. The wound is deep but does not damage any significant inner skin layers. Thus, there is no visible tendons or the edges of skin which remains parted.
  3. The wound is located in body parts or areas which do not require frequent and vital movements. Stitches can also be avoided in treating a wound which is clearly visible and can be easily reached.
  4. There is no loss of function of the wounded parts.
  5. There are no debris or other small objects trapped in the wound.
  6. The victim has been given an updated tetanus shot.
  7. The wound is treated immediately and properly. Keeping the wound moist is more likely to promote faster healing and less scars. If the wound is not stitched despite its depth, a sterile treatment is vital. Therefore, changing the bandage used for covering the wound is highly recommended. Besides, avoiding iodine application is also an important step in wound healing, because it may tear the skin tissues, which in fact, makes the wound more prone to infection. Instead, apply an antibiotic ointment or saline solution as an initial wound treatment.