Scrapes and minor cuts happen easily. You can accidently fall getting out of your car and scrape your knee or cut your finger while slicing a tomato.
The causes of cuts are usually due to something sharp like a knife or a razor blade. However, any object with a thin edge, like a cardboard box or even a piece of paper, can slide open the skin. Scrapes are often the result of a fall, especially to hard and rough surfaces like asphalt or concrete. A scrape can also happen by bumping up against something rough like a wooden pallet.
The symptoms of scrapes and cuts include:
- Redness or swelling around the wound
- Pain or irritation on the skin’s surface
If the scrape or cut becomes infected, you may see these symptoms:
- Redness, warmth and swelling
- Increased pain from the wound
- Pus or drainage from the wound
- Red streaks around the wound
Scrapes and minor cuts may be treated at home as long as they’re not too severe. Applying pressure to the scrape or cut can stop the bleeding. Covering the wound with a bandage will help keep it clean. Over-the-counter antibiotic ointment can help prevent infection. Pain relievers like acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil), or naproxen (Aleve) can reduce pain, as well as reduce inflammation.
Cleaning the wound before applying the bandage with water, ethyl alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide is recommended to keep it clean. If the wound is kept clean and left alone, it should heal in a few weeks.
Should I go to Indigo?
MultiCare Indigo Urgent Care can clean and treat your minor cuts and scrapes, including lacerations that require stitches.
You should head to an emergency department, though, if any of the following is true:
- The cut is long or deep and may have severed a nerve or tendon
- The bleeding is heavy or will not stop
- The cut or abrasion is on your eye or genitalia
- You have numbness or tingling around the area of the wound
- A foreign object is stuck in the wound