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How to Clean Cuts and Scrapes

Anyone can get a cut or a scrape during their normal day-to-day activities. When it happens, don’t neglect it and go on with your routine. Clean that cut as soon as you can to avoid any serious problems later on.

Most cuts and scrapes are minor. As a kid, you got them all the time. Playtime was fun but not without its bumps and bruises. It might seem like you kept on going, but moms and dads were there to make sure you were alright.

The human body is a remarkable machine. As soon as you sustain any damage to your skin, the body goes into repair mode. After all, your skin is another organ, just like your liver or kidney. The body sends white blood cells racing to the site of injury to check out the situation and police any foreign substances that want to try and get inside.

The white blood cells that travel through the bloodstream to the site of infection, cause the skin to feel warm to the touch when you get scrapes or cuts. The body is coming to your rescue. Any bacteria in the wound will be surrounded and expelled. That is why some people see pus in unclean cuts. It is the body trying to keep you healthy.

You can do your part by cleaning a cut as soon as possible. Aggressive bacteria can overcome the white blood cells and cause major problems in your body, not the least of which is tetanus, or lockjaw. It can become fatal in some cases. So, here’s how to clean your cuts and scrapes.

1. Wash with water. Water removes large debris like sticks, stones and things like paint chips. Now you can see what is really going on with the injury.

2. Stop the bleeding. If you injure a finger or a toe it will seem like you are bleeding to death. That’s because there are more nerve endings and small blood vessels in these places so they bleed a lot. Apply gentle pressure to stop bleeding and form a blood clot. The clot will look ugly but don’t wipe it away. That’s how your body seals the vessel that has been injured.

3. Further clean the wound with rubbing alcohol. Some people use hydrogen peroxide. It will bubble up in the presence of dirt so you can tell if the wound is not clean. The alcohol is an antiseptic barrier. It will sting when you put it on an open wound.

4. Get stitches if needed. A cut can be deeper than you first suspected. If you can’t pull the skin edges together to put a bandage on it, see a doctor.

5. Get a tetanus shot. If your booster is more than ten years old, get a shot to keep lockjaw from being a problem.

A little cut or scrape may seem minor at the time but can develop into something more without proper care. Learn to clean your wounds and stay safe.

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