Does That Cut Need Medical Attention?

It is a fact of life that we experience scrapes, scratches, bumps and bruises. Sometimes accidents become serious, like when you cut yourself with a knife or other sharp object. When a sharp object slices through your skin, it is called a laceration. Many times, these injuries can be treated at home, but sometimes it is best to consult a doctor and get urgent care for lacerations.

What To Do When You Cut Yourself

The first thing to do is stop the bleeding as best you can. Apply pressure to the laceration for 15 minutes. Most minor cuts will stop bleeding within this time frame. Sometimes all you need is an adhesive bandage, while larger lacerations may need to be wrapped in gauze. Applying some antibiotic ointment will help prevent infection. If your laceration does not stop bleeding in the 15-minute window, seek immediate medical help.

If you were bitten by an animal, especially if it is wild or unknown to you, you should seek immediate medical treatment. A wild or unfamiliar animal carries the risk of rabies. Any animal bite has an increased risk of infection, and the penetrating teeth can puncture deep into the tissues, damaging vital structures like tendons and ligaments.

When to Seek Immediate Help

If you have treated your laceration at home, but feel unwell, develop a fever, have increased swelling or drainage or see red streaks extending from the area, you may have an infection. Once infection sets in, it can quickly spread, and it is important to have the wound examined by a doctor as soon as possible.

If you have a wound where there is an obvious flap of skin, the laceration is clearly deep or the wound does not stop bleeding within the 15-minute time frame, seek immediate medical attention. You may require stitches to close the wound properly. While stitches sound scary, they actually help the wound heal faster. The doctor can also assess you for the likelihood of infection, examine the injury for deeper damage and give you home care instructions.

Get urgent treatment for lacerations or laceration complications by contacting CLEAR Immediate Care today.