Q:

How is a skin tear treated?

A:

Quick Answer

If the skin tear isn't too serious, the person should wash her hands and try to stop the bleeding, according to Mayo Clinic. Washing hands reduces the risk of pathogens getting into the cut. Better yet, the person should put on protective gloves she can dispose of later.

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Full Answer

The bleeding in a minor cut or abrasion usually stops by itself, says Mayo Clinic. If it doesn't, press a sterile dressing against it and elevate the wound if possible.

Rinse the wound with clean, clear water, informs Mayo Clinic. Then, clean the area of the wound with soapy water, but avoid getting it into the cut itself. If there is still debris left in the wound, wash tweezers with alcohol and use them to remove it. Using a harsh antibacterial such as iodine is usually not necessary.

The person should then thinly apply some antibiotic to the wound, explains Mayo Clinic. This can be a product such as Neosporin. This keeps the area hydrated and protects against pathogens. Then, put on a bandage unless the wound is very minor. Change the dressing at least once a day, and change it whenever it gets wet or dirty. When the cut looks like it is healing well, take off the bandage and allow it to heal completely in the air.

Deep cuts need to be sutured, reports Mayo Clinic. A medical professional needs to do this fairly quickly to reduce scarring and the chance of infection.

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