Cuts, Minor and Major

While minor cuts don’t really require that much extensive treatment, deep or major cuts may prove needing quick attention; though either way, the symptoms and first aid are closely similar.


As opposed to cuts, punctures are made when the wound is made by a pointed object instead of an edged object. Punctures can be characterized by small swollen hole-like marks, formed by said points, and could also be that made by the bite marks of animals. (see Animal Bite and Punctures)

Scrapes or Abrasions

A scrape or abrasion is an injury that often results when an area of the skin is rubbed, scratched or irritated. It is characterized by soreness and redness, and is common to occur in parts of the body like the knee or elbow. (See Scrapes and Abrasions)

Signs of Cuts, Punctures or Scrapes

  • Bleeding (see Bleeding)
  • Pain and problems with function or feeling below the cut area
  • Broken skin or marks of almost broken skin like scratches
  • Irritation and redness, warmth

First Aid for Cuts

1. Stop the Bleeding
Minor cuts will stop bleeding on their own and will clot almost immediately, but for major ones, in the case they don’t cease to bleed, apply gentle pressure and elevate the wound. This should be done continuously for 20 to 30 minutes.

2. Clean the wound
Clean out the wound using clear, clean water so as to get unwanted dirt or debris out. If some still remain after washing, use a clean pair of tweezers to take them out. For other leftover dirt that can’t be taken out, see a doctor.

3. Apply an antibiotic
Antibiotic cream or ointments, despite not making the cuts heal any faster, discourage infection and help the body’s natural process. Apply a thin layer after cleaning.

4.  Cover the wound
Bandages, besides keeping the wound clean, keep harmful bacteria out. You may however need to expose the cut to air if it’s healed enough to make infection unlikely and to speed up the process.

DOs and DON’Ts

  • Don’t keep on checking if the cut has stopped bleeding. This may damage the clot already forming, causing the bleeding to resume.
  • Don’t use soap to clean the cut itself as this may irritate the wound. Soap can be used to clean the outer parts of the wound, say, the skin around it.
  • Discontinue use of antibiotic if rash develops or persists. It may mean you are allergic to the product.
  • Change the dressing if it has become wet or dirty. This is to ensure the cut stays clean and infection doesn’t take place.
  • Some deep wounds may need stitching so do see a doctor to get them all patched up.
  • See a doctor if pain worsens and if you notice the cut not healing properly, develops redness and becomes more swollen
  • Get a shot applicable (see Animal Bite) in the case the wound was made by sources of potential rabies like animals or by a potentially tetanus harmful object like a rusty nail or knife.

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