Cuts and other injuries that break the skin
How to treat at home and when to get help
Almost all bleeding can be stopped by applying 5-10 minutes of uninterrupted direct pressure with a clean gauze or cloth.
- Once the bleeding stops, gently wash with soap and water for 5 minutes to decrease the chance of infection and dirt remaining trapped in the wound.
- Apply a small amount of antibiotic ointment and cover with a clean, dry bandage.
- Bite wounds that break the skin (such as dog or human bites) usually require oral antibiotics and should be evaluated, even if minor.
When stitches or other closings may be needed:
- Cuts/wounds of any size that go all the way through the skin, exposing dark red muscle or yellow fat tissue.
- A gaping cut/wound larger than ½” long (measure with a ruler if needed), no matter how deep.
- Cuts that are deep, gaping, or in cosmetically sensitive areas should be evaluated to determine if stitches are needed.