Best wound care options

Shelly Haberman
April blog

Kelsey Sauer, Licensed Athletic Trainer 

While skin injuries don’t always seem like a big deal, they can cause infection within the body and become a bigger concern if not cared for properly. It is important to know how to properly treat these injuries and when it is necessary to see a health care provider for care. Appropriate treatment of these injures will help to decrease infection and increase healing time.

Common skin injuries include:

  • Lacerations (cuts)
  • Incisions
  • Blisters
  • Abrasions (scrapes)
  • Avulsions
  • Punctures

Steps for proper treatment:

  1. Stop the bleeding
  • You will want to start by applying firm pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or sterile gauze.
  • If the bleeding begins to seep through the gauze you have already place just add more.  Do not remove the gauze as it may cause more bleeding.
  • Once bleeding has stopped move to step two - Cleaning.
  1. Cleaning the wound
  • You will want to rinse the wound with water or saline solution.
    • There is no need to anything stronger, such as alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.
  • Do not scrub the wound as you can damage healing tissue.
  • Remove any visible debris by cleaning from the inside out, NEVER outside in.
  • To remove any debris you can use gauze, cotton tipped applicator or Q-tip.
  • If there is a large amount of debris have a health care provider, such as an athletic trainer, assist to ensure that the wound is clean.
  1. Dressing the wound
    • The wound should always be covered as it will help to prevent infection and reopening.
    • You will want to cover the wound with nonocclusive dressing, such as non-adherent pads, band-aids or sterile gauze.
    • The dressing should be changed on a daily basis or more often if the dressing becomes dirty or saturated.
    • Have your athletic trainer inspect and help dress throughout the healing process and especially if there are any signs of infection.

Signs of infection:

  1. Redness, swelling, heat or pain in the area
  2. Pus drainage
  3. Red streaks traveling up or down the extremity from the injury

Call a healthcare provider if:

  1. Bleeding doesn’t stop
  2. Wound is on the face (cosmetic reasoning)
  3. Wound is deeper than a quarter-inch deep or three-quarter inches long  
    • Stitches need to be placed within six hours after the injury
  4. You can see fat or muscle
  5. If you can’t get all of the debris out as the wound was caused by something rusty or very dirty
  6. Notice signs of infection

Share This On...

Blog category

Subscribe to the Blog

* indicates required