CUTS, GRAZERS AND BLISTERS
What is it?
Slight bleeding from minor cut or graze usually stops spontaneously within a few minutes as the blood cloths and does not require medical attention.
Treatment in the home:
- Clean the dirty cuts. If left in the wound, dirt is likely to cause infection and scarring. Run water over the cut. Then clean the wound with hydrogen peroxide solution (20 volumes), available from your pharmacist. It is best applied undiluted, on a gauze swab directly on the wound. It will foam and create a burning sensation. This method of cleaning will get rid of certain dangerous infectious agents. Avoid contact with eyes, nose and mucous membranes.
- Bleeding that does not stop by itself, can be stopped by pressure. A clean dressing applied firmly is usually sufficient. If bleeding continues do not remove the wet dressing but apply another on top.
- If a cut is clean and edges are not gaping, a protective dressing is usually all that is required.
- Leave grazes uncovered if possible.
When to consult a doctor: If the wound becomes inflamed, or is seen to contain pus. If the cut is deep lacerated or on the face. Within 24 hours if the edges of the cut gape so badly that they cannot easily be drawn together with a surgical tape.
What the doctor may do: Insert stitches and prescribe antibiotics if necessary. Give an anti-tetanus injection (tetanus toxoid), if appropriate.
What is it?
A blister is a collection of fluid under the skin.
A bubble of colourless fluid appears under the skin. It may burst if there is continued friction. If a blister bursts, dirt or other irritants may get in, and an open inflamed sore may form.
Causes: Friction, Heat and skin irritants
Treatment in the home: Avoid further friction. Open only if the taut skin is causing acute discomfort. In this case, prick it with a sterile needle at the edge of the blister. Keep it open if there is no danger of dirt getting in; otherwise keep it covered with an adhesive plaster.
When to consult a doctor: If the blister shows any signs of infection such as inflammation or the formation of pus.
What the doctor may do: Prescribe antibiotics if the blister has become infected.