Your Local Pharmacist is

Jay Koovarjee

 92 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: (02) 9221 0091
fax: (02) 9221 0090

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:: In Brief

 

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:: Cuts & Abrasions

Injuries & Wounds - Cuts
  Injuries & Wounds
  Cuts & Abrasions

Cuts and abrasions are wounds that cause your skin to break. Cuts can be caused by sharp object such as knives, glass splinters. brasions are caused when your skin rubs against a hard surface and it breaks. Small cuts called scratches may be caused by needle or thorns.

When the skin is pierced, bleeding occurs as blood vessels in the skin are broken. This bleeding stops within a few minutes and the blood forms a clot. This clot then dries up and become a scab. The scab usually falls of within a week or two. This scab helps the skin to heal underneath it and new skin is seen when the scab falls off. If you pick at the scab earlier the wound may again start bleeding and would take longer time to heal. The new skin initially may look lighter but within a few months becomes of the same color as that of your normal skin. 
 

Signs & Symptoms for medical advice:

  • A wound that penetrates beneath the visible surface of the skin (especially if it has been contaminated with dirt, rust, etc.), and you haven't had a tetanus shot in the last five years or don't remember when you got your last one.
  • A gaping wound where the edges of your skin don't touch (or almost touch) at the wound site or where underlying fat, tendons, bones, etc. are visible.
  • Numbness at the wound site or numbness in another part of your body (e.g., a cut near your elbow that results in numbness in your forearm or fingers).
  • Bleeding that can't be stopped with direct pressure on the wound or any wound that spurts blood.
  • Weakness or loss of function in the area of the wound (e.g., inability to extend your fingers after a cut on your hand or wrist).
  • A wound on your face or other area where optimal healing is desired for cosmetic reasons.
  • Signs of infection such as a fever of 100.5 degrees F (38 degrees C) or higher; drainage; increased redness, swelling, or pain; or red streaks extending from the wound.

A tetanus injection may also be required.  Check with your doctor when you last had one.

For deep cuts consult your doctor immediately as may require stitches to stop the bleed.

A wound may spurt blood if an artery has been cut. This is a potentially life-threatening injury that requires emergency medical assistance.

Treatment:

Most cuts and abrasions are minor and stop bleeding on their own within a few minutes.

For minor cuts and abrasions, the first thing is to stop the bleeding:

  • Press the bleeding area with a clean, soft cloth
  • Once the bleeding stops, wash the wound with running water and apply a Band-Aid (if the cut is small) or an antibiotic cream on the wound.

If bleeding continues:

  • Remove any visible dirt or debris and apply direct pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or gauze pad - if nothing else is available, use your hand
  • Keep applying pressure until the bleeding stops, then tape the cloth or gauze in place. If blood soaks through the cloth, do not remove it; you may lift off clotting blood cells. Instead, add another cloth and keep pressing. Do not try to use a tourniquet; if misused, it can cut off circulation to the limb
  • If a foreign object is embedded in the wound, do not try to remove it. Instead, lie down and apply direct pressure above and below the wound
  • When the bleeding stops, see your doctor or go to a hospital, where appropriate care can be given.
     

Further Information:

 

 

Ask Your Pharmacist about:

  • treatment of cuts and abrasions
  • dressings suitable for cuts and abrasions 

 

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