How to dress cuts or grazes
- wash and dry your hands thoroughly
- clean the wound under running tap water but do not use antiseptic because it may damage the tissue and slow down healing
- pat the area dry with a clean towel
- apply a sterile, adhesive dressing, such as a plaster
Keep the dressing clean by changing it as often as necessary and keep the wound dry by using waterproof dressings, which will allow you to take showers.
If your cut or graze is bleeding heavily or is on a particularly delicate area of your body, such as the palm of your hand, you should stop the bleeding before applying any kind of dressing.
Apply pressure to the area using a bandage or a towel. If the cut is to your hand or arm, raise it above your head. If the injury is to a lower limb, lie down and raise the affected area above the level of your heart so the bleeding slows down and stops.
You should seek medical advice immediately at a Hospital if:
- You are bleeding from a cut artery. Blood from an artery comes out in spurts (with each beat of the heart), is bright red and is usually hard to control.
- You cannot stop the bleeding.
- You experience loss of sensation near the wound or you are having trouble moving body parts. If this is the case you may have damaged underlying nerves.
- There is severe pain, extensive bruising and you are having trouble moving body parts. If this is the case you may have damaged one of your tendons.
- You have received a cut to the face. You may require urgent treatment to prevent scarring.
- You have received a cut to the palm of your hand and the cut looks infected. These types of infection can spread quickly.
- There is a possibility that a foreign body is still inside the wound.
- The cut is extensive, complex or has caused a lot of tissue damage.