Minor cuts and scrapes are a part of life. Administering proper first aid when you are wounded helps prevent infections and minimize the risk of scarring. Most skin wounds can be treated simply at home and do not require a trip to the doctor or emergency room, according to MayoClinic.com. If you cut or scrape your shin, begin administering first aid immediately for best results during the healing process.
Apply pressure with a clean bandage or cloth if the wound is bleeding heavily, MayoClinic.com advises. Minor cuts and scrapes typically do not require this step because bleeding is minimal.
Wash your hands with soap and water before tending to your wound, MedlinePlus advises.
Wash the wound with soap and water.
Apply antibacterial ointment to the wound to prevent an infection from developing. A thin layer of ointment is all you need to protect against infection.
Cover the wound with a bandage. Be sure to use a bandage large enough that it will not stick to the actual wound, but instead the skin surrounding it, MedlinePlus advises.
Clean and dry the wound each day and apply a new bandage, the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh recommends. Change the bandage or dressing every time it gets dirty or wet.
Watch your wound for signs of infection. If the wound is draining, red or swollen, or if the pain increases, seek medical attention, MayoClinic.com advises.
Things You'll Need
Clean bandage or cloth
Soap and water
Severe cuts or wounds may require stitches or medical intervention. If your cut is more than a half-inch long or a half-inch deep or does not stop bleeding after applying pressure for 10 minutes, contact your doctor or visit an emergency room, the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh advises. Also, wounds that have dirt embedded in them should be evaluated by a doctor.
Always seek medical attention if your wound was caused by an animal bite or a rusty hook, nail or other object, MedlinePlus advises.
Do not breath into or blow on an open wound because this can introduce bacteria that can cause an infection, MedlinePlus advises.