Alas, it is snowing up here in Boston yet again! With all the icy streets and sidewalks, it’s no surprise that many of us have shared the common plight of slipping, falling and scraping an elbow, knee, hand, or other body part.
So how should you treat a minor scrape (aka abrasion) or cut (aka laceration)?
First off, take a look at your scrape or cut.
Did something puncture your skin?
Did you skin fall on something dirty like rusty metal? Did dirt get lodged in the area?
Are you left with a wound more than a few millimeters deep?
Is your scrape bleeding profusely and not stopping with pressure?
If you answered yes to the above, you may need to see your doctor to see if you need special cleansing of the skin, a tetanus shot, stitches or other treatment.
If the scrape is otherwise minor — e.g. clean, not actively bleeding, etc, you can clean it off with running water.
Next, gently pat the area dry.
You can cover the area with petroleum jelly. A lot of people like using Neosporin or bacitracin ointment — just keep in mind that these are also common causes of contact allergies which can delay healing. For minor cuts, liquid bandage can be used.
You can also apply a regular bandaid/bandage over the area to protect the area.
If there are any signs of a skin infection, let your doctor know. Stay tuned for a future post on signs of skin infection.