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How To Treat a Cut at Home - and When You Should Seek Medical Attention

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How To Treat a Cut at Home - and When You Should Seek Medical Attention

Cuts are one of the most common injuries that occur in the home. Knife accidents in the home were responsible for almost 330,000 hospital visits in 2011 alone. Whether it happens from cutting a tomato in the kitchen or using garden tools in the yard, cuts can range from a minor annoyance to a serious medical emergency. So how do you know if a cut can be safely treated at home or if professional medical attention is needed?

When You Can Treat a Cut At Home

  • You have normal movement of the affected area
  • There is no numbness
  • There are no visible bones or tendons

How To Treat a Cut At Home

  • Apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding
  • Clean the cut with soap and water, and apply an antibiotic ointment
  • Cover the cut with a band-aid
  • Clean the cut daily with soap and water,  reapply an antibiotic ointment and apply a new band-aid

When You Should Seek Medical Attention

  • The cut is large and gaping
  • Movement is restricted to the affected area
  • There is numbness in the affected area
  • If you have any of the symptoms above, apply direct pressure to the cut using a gauze pad or a clean towel, and go to the ER for professional treatment

The doctor will clean out the wound to ensure there is no debris inside, and then close the wound to reduce the risk of infection and scarring.

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