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Infographic: First Aid for Cuts and Scrapes free download

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Wounds can be caused by something sudden, such as a cut, a fall, or a bad knock. Cuts, Scrapes, and lacerations are all examples of wounds. Cuts are usually caused by a sharp object like a knife or glass, or even a sheet of paper. Lacerations are deep cuts or tears of the skin – they usually have irregular jagged edges. Scrapes (also known as abrasions) are superficial (surface) injuries where the upper skin layer is damaged by friction. Scrapes can happen when a person falls off a skateboard or bike and their body moves across the ground. ‘Road rash’ is a term used to describe these injuries in cyclists or motorcyclists, resulting from skin scraping the road surface.

Puncture wounds are deep wounds caused by a sharp pointed object, such as a nail, penetrating the skin. An animal bite can also cause a puncture wound. Puncture wounds may not bleed very much, but they are prone to infection. The photo of today will provide guidelines for First aid for cuts and scrapes

Also Read Minor and Severe Cuts: Workplace First Aid Basics

First Aid for Cuts and Scrapes

Cuts and puncture wounds

A cut is a break or opening in the skin. It is also called a laceration. A cut may be deep, smooth, or jagged. It may be near the surface of the skin, or deeper. A deep cut can affect tendons, muscles, ligaments, nerves, blood vessels, or bones.

A puncture is a wound made by a pointed object such as a nail, knife, or sharp tooth. Puncture wounds often appear to be on the surface, but may extend into the deeper tissue layers.


Symptoms include:

  • Bleeding
  • Problems with function (movement) or feeling (numbness, tingling) below the wound site
  • Pain

Infection may occur with some cuts and puncture wounds. The following are more likely to become infected:

  • Bites
  • Punctures
  • Crush injuries
  • Dirty wounds
  • Wounds on the feet
  • Wounds that are not promptly treated

Also Read: First aid requirements at construction site

First Aid for wounds, cuts, and Scrapes

You can look after most minor cuts and wounds yourself, by following these steps:

  1. Wash your hands. This helps avoid infection.
  2. Stop the bleeding. Minor cuts and scrapes usually stop bleeding on their own. If needed, apply gentle pressure with a clean bandage or cloth and elevate the wound until the bleeding stops.
  3. Clean the wound. Rinse the wound with water. Keeping the wound under running tap water will reduce the risk of infection. Wash around the wound with soap. But don’t get soap in the wound. And don’t use hydrogen peroxide or iodine, which can be irritating. Remove any dirt or debris with tweezers cleaned with alcohol. See a doctor if you can’t remove all debris.
  4. Apply an antibiotic or petroleum jelly. Apply a thin layer of an antibiotic ointment or petroleum jelly to keep the surface moist and help prevent scarring. Certain ingredients in some ointments can cause a mild rash in some people. If a rash appears, stop using the ointment.
  5. Cover the wound. Apply a bandage, rolled gauze, or gauze held in place with paper tape. Covering the wound keeps it clean. If the injury is just a minor scrape or scratch, leave it uncovered.
  6. Change the dressing. Do this at least once a day or whenever the bandage becomes wet or dirty.
  7. Get a tetanus shot. Get a tetanus shot if you haven’t had one in the past five years and the wound is deep or dirty.
  8. Watch for signs of infection. See a doctor if you see signs of infection on the skin or near the wound, such as redness, increasing pain, drainage, warmth, or swelling.

It’s also important to care for yourself, as this helps wounds heal faster. So eat healthy food, avoid smoking, and avoid drinking too much alcohol.

Avoid swimming with any cut (unless it’s a minor abrasion) until your cut is healed.

Also Read: Minor and Severe Cuts: Workplace First Aid Basics

When should I see my doctor?

You can take after most minor wounds, such as many cuts and abrasions, yourself, by keeping them clean and preventing infection. Most wounds will heal themselves, but you should see a doctor or nurse if :

  • the wound is deep, including puncture wounds, or doesn’t stop bleeding when you apply pressure
  • you can’t properly clean dirt and debris out of the cut
  • the wound has dirt, a thorn, glass, or other foreign body in it
  • you have cut your hand by punching something
  • the cut is over a joint
  • the wound is more than a few millimeters deep and/or the sides of the cut don’t sit together well by themselves (i.e. the wound “gapes”). These may need to be closed with stitches, tissue glue, or staples
  • the wound is in or near your eye or is on your eyelid and is not shallow
  • you notice changes around the wound, such as spreading redness, increasing pain, tenderness or swelling, or it starts oozing pus
  • you develop a temperature
  • the wound is from a bite, whether by an animal or another human
  • the wound is contaminated with soil or saliva or was sustained in dirty water
  • you have diabetes
  • you’re not sure whether you’re up to date with your tetanus shots
  • you have a wound that’s not healing or is very slow to heal

Also, Read: Sunglasses Safety and Eye Health

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First Aid for Cuts and Scrapes

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