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How To Care For Deep Lacerations Article

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Care And Treatment of Lacerations

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A laceration is the more medical term for any kind of tear or cut in the skin. The laceration may be small or large depending on the cause of the laceration, that is from a sharp object, such as a knife or shard of glass, or a more traumatic cause due to a blow to the skin, fall, or collision.

Most lacerations may not bleed that much, nor are deep enough to require medical attention. For such minor lacerations, one need to simply clean the wound using warm water with an antibacterial soap. Also recommended is the use of an antibiotic ointment or cream, such as Bacitracin or Neosporin to prevent any infection, and of which are readily available at any pharmacy. After applying the ointment one should cover the cut or laceration with a bandage or sterile gauze. It is important to change the bandage if the bandage becomes soiled, and one should re-clean the laceration and apply another application of the anti-bacterial ointment or cream. One should consult a physician however, if one notices any swelling or redness, for despite one's precautions, this could be an indicator of infection, and may need additional medical treatment.

For lacerations where the cut is deep, that is, there is an obvious separation of the thickness of the skin, and if there is extensive bleeding involved, will necessitate immediate medical attention. If the wound is deep enough, it may require stitches to close the wound properly of the skin and underlying tissue and to reduce the chances of infection. Also, in some cases, one may need a tetanus shot if one hasn't had one for quite awhile.

It is most important to keep this deep laceration clean at all times. Even though one will have stitches, the wound should be covered with a bandage, and it is important to keep this bandage dry and clean at all times. If the bandage does manage to get soiled or wet, one must change it, by slowly unwrapping the bandage. If the bandage sticks to the wound or starts to hurt, use a little water to loosen it, then pat the area completely dry before
applying a new bandage. It is important to keep a bandage on for the entire duration of the healing process while stitches remain, and the physician may recommend one to gently clean and change the wound on a daily basis, depending on the severity of the laceration.

A physician may also prescribe a stronger antibacterial ointment than what is readily available over the counter. It is recommended to elevate such a deep laceration to decrease any pain, swelling or throbbing that may occur. To decrease any pain from the laceration, one may take either Tylenol or Ibuprofen, following the directions of these medications.

If one notices any unusual drainage, redness or swelling, or a bad smell coming from the laceration site, one should contact their doctor immediately as this may be a sign of infection.
After about seven to ten days, one should return to their physician for the possible removal of the stitches, or for general monitoring of the laceration. Once the stitches are removed and the skin is healed, to minimize any scarring as a result of the laceration, one can apply Vitamin E to the area and gently message the area.


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