Many minor cuts can be treated at home and don't need medical attention. However it is important to know how to clean them. Proper cleaning helps to promote healing and avoid the development of any complications, such as infection. Here's what you need to know:
1. Wash your hands. Before attempting to clean a cut, it is important that your own hands are clean. This way, you will not introduce any germs or foreign substances into the cut that may cause infection.
2. Stop the bleeding. Apply direct and gentle pressure to stop the bleeding. You can use a clean cloth to apply the pressure, as this will also soak up any blood as it appears. Most small cuts will stop bleeding within five or so minutes, if the blood keeps pouring out you will definitely want to see a doctor.
3. Rinse the wound with clear water. Assuming that bleeding has stopped, you can proceed with steps to clean the cut. Clean the cut with soap and water, and apply triple antibiotic ointment. Rinse for at least two minutes, and until the wound looks clean.
4. Remove any foreign material from the cut. Use tweezers if needed to get out any debris from the site of the wound. However, be careful not to make the wound worse as you try to get things out of it. Note that if there is a significant amount of foreign material lodged in the cut, it is best to see a doctor rather than to attempt to get it out yourself.
5. Cover the cut with a bandage. Place a sterile bandage over the cut to protect the wound from any further damage. Be sure to change the bandage every 24 hours. If the bandage gets wet, remove it and apply a new one. After the wound forms a scab, a bandage isn't needed.
Call your doctor if the wound is red, swollen, tender, warm, or draining pus, or if the bleeding is too important.
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