By: Elena Jamscek
Oh no! You have cut yourself and you’re bleeding!
Time. It is important. 19 hours seems to be the magic number. Studies show wounds stitched UP to 19 hours after the injury heal significantly better than those closed later. So, I do not sew wounds that come to me 19 hours old.
What can YOU do with a “fresh” wound?
- First, stop the bleeding. Apply direct pressure to the wound. Most wounds stop bleeding in 10-15 minutes.
- Wash out the wound. Studies found tap water works just fine. Saline works well too.
- This is the step when you get stitches if you need it
- Clean petrolatum jelly can be put on the wound so the dressing doesn’t stick. Neosporin is one of the top 10 allergens therefore it may not be the best choice.
- Keep the dressing on the area of 48 hours, then you can let it air out.
- Wash the wound gently with soap and water; pat dry – twice a day
Call the doctor with any fever, redness, streaking, or any concerns. Antibiotics are not suggested with most patients. Exceptions are a contaminated wound (with dirt or saliva), immune compromised patients or the wound that extends into a joint.
P.S. one very common mistake…hydrogen peroxide. This can be used to clean one of those dirty wounds ONCE! ONLY ONCE! Hydrogen peroxide is a good killer…it kills bad things and the good things. That means it can kill that healing tissue and you will have a non-healing wound for much longer than you should.
In case you need us….we are open Monday – Saturday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. , no appointment needed. Give us a call at 731-554-0571.