How Do You Treat Open Wounds?


Quick Answer

The treatment of an open wound depends on the type of wound and also its depth. For a minor wound that is not bleeding profusely, first aid treatment at home can include cleaning out the wound with water, applying an antibiotic ointment, placing a sterile dressing on it and changing the wound dressing on a daily basis until it heals, notes WebMD. This can prevent an infection of an open wound.

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Full Answer

An open wound is an injury in which there is a break in the skin that exposes tissue and causes bleeding. There are different classification of open wounds, such as an abrasion, puncture, incision, laceration and avulsion, according to Healthline. The most serious of these wound types are incision and avulsion wounds, which can involve rupturing of skin and exposure of tissues. Avulsion wounds can include gunshot wounds. These types of wounds require medical attention, especially when muscles, tendons or organs are damaged due to the injury.

Minor lacerations and abrasions can be treated in the manner cited previously. A minor wound can be less that half of an inch in depth. A wound that is deeper than this may require medical attention. If there is profuse bleeding, then applying pressure with a clean washcloth may help stop the bleeding prior to first aid treatment. If after 20 minutes the bleeding is still present, then a doctor should treat the wound, states WebMD.

Similarly, puncture wounds, such as those caused by stepping on a sharp object or a bite from an animal, should be treated by a doctor. A tetanus shot may also may be necessary in cases where the puncture wound is caused by a rusty object.

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