Cuts and other injuries breaking 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 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 closing 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 inch 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.